Border traffic.

Lower Mainland border crossings see increase of refugee claims in 2016

Canada Border Services Agency reports more than 7,000 people sought asylum across the country last year.

More than 200 people claim refugee status at Lower Mainland border crossings last year, according to federal statistics.

Numbers recently released by the Canada Border Services agency indicate 210 people made refugee claims at the Peace Arch, Pacific Highway, Sumas, Aldergrove and Point Roberts crossings.

That’s up 30 per cent from the 161 people who made similar claims in 2015.

The highest number of claims were recorded at the Peace Arch and Pacific Highway crossings in South Surrey, with a total of 204.

Meanwhile, Point Roberts had one, Aldergrove two, and Sumas three.

CBSA reports 7,021 people sought asylum in Canada last year, nearly double the number from the year before.

The region with the most refugee claims was southern Ontario with 3,800, followed by Quebec with 2,500.

The number of people caught sneaking into Canada in the Lower Mainland ports of entry has also gone up, more than doubling from 2015 to 2016.

In the Pacific region, 652 people were intercepted between the ports of entry in 2016, compared to 319 the year prior.

The busiest month last year was December, when 84 individuals were intercepted.

 

With files from Tracy Holmes / Peace Arch News


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