Report Finds That Just 0.3% Of Irregular Migrants Have Serious Criminal Past
As the debate over irregular asylum seekers focuses on fear over potential criminal threat, a recently released Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) report is dispelling this incorrect notion, revealing that a very small percentage have a criminal past.
The data, which was reported by Global News, found that of all migrants who crossed the Canadian border irregularly since 2017, only 30 were blocked from making an asylum claim due to “serious criminality.”
An additional 110 were deemed inadmissible due to serious criminality after entering Canada.
It’s estimated that in total, around 45,000 migrants entered Canada irregularly since 2017, which means only 0.3 per cent had a serious criminal past that prevented the refugee process from moving forward.
The remaining 99.7 per cent of irregular migrants could still have a criminal history, but it was not serious enough to justify rejecting their asylum claim.
In addition to those deemed ineligible because of their criminal background, 10 irregular asylum seekers were issued deportation orders by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) due to links to organized crime.
Ten others were told they must leave Canada because they posed a potential threat to national security, while only one person was given a removal order due to alleged human rights violations.
Compared to criminality, being deemed ineligible for human rights violations, national security, or organized crime does not actually mean the individual had been directly involved in committing an illegal act.
In order for an asylum seeker to be considered ineligible due to serious criminality, they need to have either committed or been convicted of an offence punishable by at least 10 years in prison or been sentenced to at least six months in a Canadian jail.
It’s not a requirement for these offences to have been committed in Canada.
Being deemed inadmissible due to serious criminality does not always mean these individuals pose a threat to Canadians, as a simple drunk driving conviction where nobody was injured, and no jail time was served could result in inadmissibility.
In any case crossing the Canadian border from the United States irregularly in order to escape harm and make a refugee claim is not a crime. This act is justified under both international and Canadian law, despite the erroneous labelling of irregular arrivals as “illegal”. Refugees have to cross borders to get to safety as the global refugee phenomenon has illustrated. It is not an option to turn our backs and close our borders to those seeking protection from persecution and fearing for their lives and safety.