Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Canada working to stop flow of Illegal Migrants from Nigeria

Canada working to stop flow of Illegal Migrants from Nigeria

The Canadian government has sharpened its tone towards asylum seekers, warning that simply making it across the border is not a "free ticket" to Canada as the number of migrants crossing from the U.S. continues to rise.

Three senior federal ministers delivered a blunt reminder to them Monday that entering Canada illegally is not a free pass into the country. Doing so allows migrants to skirt a longstanding pact that bars most refugee claimants in the United States from applying for asylum in Canada.

On Monday, Canada's ministers of immigration, public security and transportation provided an update on federal efforts to ensure visas aren't being abused.

The federal government has committed $173.2 million over the next two years to strengthen border security and speed up the processing of asylum claims made in 2018-2019.

"Coming across the border in a way that tries to circumvent the law or defy proper procedure is no free ticket to Canada", Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told reporters.

"Just over 90 per cent of irregular migrants do not meet our criteria (for asylum) and they will have to leave Canada", Garneau said, adding that 200 now face imminent deportation after their refugee claims were rejected.

Goodale said when asylum seekers are found in Canada they are issued a conditional removal order and need to prove they need protection from the Canadian government. "Seeking asylum is not a shortcut to get around normal immigration rules and procedures".

Corruption and weak state institutions are mostly responsible for Nigeria's economic troubles which has left the major oil producer and its nearly 200 million population in pain and despair.

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Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen will head to Nigeria in the coming weeks amid an influx of nationals from that country seeking asylum in Canada in recent months.

"It's becoming apparent to us that they've obtained these visas to come to Canada to make asylum claims", Hussen said.

About 70 percent of the application seekers who had hearings past year were accepted.

Canadians across the political spectrum are generally supportive of immigration, but the Conservative MP behind the motion argued that the issue, if not properly addressed, could cause Canadians to lose confidence in the system.

"The US has taken action with respect to this issue".

He said three officials have been dispatched to Nigeria, the country of origin of numerous new asylum seekers, and that he would be going in the near future as well.

These developments follow news that American officials are studying amendments proposed by Canada to its Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States, which deems both countries safe havens for refugees and limits who can claim asylum at official border crossings between the two countries.

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