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UN refugee agency rep in Canada says asylum seekers are not a threat

From CTV - April 16, 2018

The UN refugee agencys representative in Canada, Jean-Nicolas Beuze, said Monday he wants to dispel the "myths" about the record number of asylum seekers that entered Canada from the U.S. in 2017, as fears abound that Canadas immigration system is stretched to a breaking point.

Beuze said the goal of his press conference on Parliament Hillwas to dispel some fears within the population that those people who are arriving in large numbers in Canada pose any threat to the security of Canadians or are people who are not entitledfor whatever reasonto the protection of Canadian authorities.

Asylum claims surged to 50,000 in Canada in 2017more than double from the year prior and the highest number of claims in more than two decadesaccording to data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Beuze said that most of those seeking asylum in Canada in 2017 did so at regular points of entry, like an airport, seaport or land border. Roughly 20,000 crossed into Canada irregularly, he added, with the majority of irregular arrivals taking place in Quebec.

He also challenged the idea that the withdrawal of temporary protected status for various immigrant groups in the U.S., coupled with anti-migrant rhetoric coming from the White House, was responsible for the surge in asylum claimants.

A large number of the people coming into Canada are simply passing through the U.S. on the way to their final destination in Canada, Beuze said.

Many Haitians, who made up a large number of those crossing the U.S.- Canada border, were going through the United States, spending only a few days, coming directly from Haiti or coming from other places such as Brazil, he explained.

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