The number of people stopped by the RCMP after illegally entering Manitoba rose in March.
New figures released on Wednesday by the federal government show the Mounties intercepted 170 people crossing between official border points, up from 142 in February.
In total, 331 have been apprehended in Manitoba since the beginning of this year.
A statement given to Global News from Canada Border Services Agency said “from March 20 to April 16, 2017, the RCMP intercepted 135 people crossing illegally into Canada. Of those, the CBSA detained three individuals it determined to be a danger to the public.”
“When a CBSA officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person is a danger to the public, they are a flight risk or their identity is in question a detention order may be issued,” a spokesperson said in a statement.
Quebec has seen the largest influx of refugee claimants this year with other 1,300 since January.
The figures also show a general increase in asylum claims in Canada, with 3,440 processed in March compared with 2,885 in February.
Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale released this statement on Wednesday.
While the vast majority of immigration to Canada is carefully planned and managed in an orderly fashion over the long term, the flow of spontaneous asylum seekers are much smaller and largely unpredictable. These are people who feel they are in danger or at risk, and once they get themselves into Canada by whatever means, they claim asylum in this country for their personal protection. They represent only a fraction of all the newcomers we welcome every year, and do not impinge on the regular system.
In March there continued to be an increase in asylum claims and intercepts of irregular border crossers. In cooperation with our partners, the Government of Canada is constantly analysing these trends and planning for possible developments.
Canadian authorities are managing the increase in asylum seekers in a sound and measured way, applying our laws and procedures to keep Canadians safe while fully respecting all of this country’s international obligations.
The majority of irregular migrants are holders of visas for the United State, so they passed a US security screening. Once in Canada, they receive further security screening from the RCMP and CBSA.
To be clear – trying to slip across the border in an irregular manner is not a “free” ticket to Canada. The asylum seekers are apprehended and secured by police or local authorities. Their identities are determined from both biographic and biometric information. Health checks are done. Their records are examined for any immigration, criminal or terrorist flags against both Canadian and international databases. Those who cannot be identified, are a flight risk or pose a danger to the public can be detained. They all go before the quasi-judicial Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to adjudicate their status through due process. If they are found to be inadmissible without a valid claim, removal procedures are begun.
To handle these matters thus far, CBSA and the RCMP have made internal adjustments to ensure they have the right personnel and tools in the right places to deal with existing circumstance safely and securely. As the situation evolves, these professional organizations will advise as to what extra resources may be required.
With files from The Canadian Press