The closure of Wroxham Road did not solve anything: a record number of asylum applications at Montreal airport

The closure of Wroxham Road did not solve anything: a record number of asylum applications at Montreal airport

The number of asylum seekers passing through Montreal airport rose last September. During the same month, Canada also reached a record number of such migrants since at least 2017, when Wroxham Road began making headlines.

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“The Quebec government has buried its head in the sand a bit by saying that closing Roxham will solve everything,” summed up Stephane Reichhold, director of the Coordinating Committee of Organizations Serving Refugees and Immigrants (TCRI).

Last September, at least 3,420 asylum applications were processed at Quebec “air points” run by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), specifically through Montreal Trudeau Airport, a kind of “new Roxham route.”

This is a record for a single month in this category, and can be explained by the phenomenon of asylum seekers traveling on a visa to Montreal airport, but submitting an asylum application there upon arrival.

The approach has taken on an unprecedented scale since the closure last March of Wroxham Road, which for years was the main entry point for asylum seekers into Canada.

The current wave of asylum seekers is particularly felt in front of Quebec services offices, where more and more of them are submitting applications for social assistance.

Photo by Olivier Foucher

Jacqueline Ruby said: “We can assure you that there has indeed been an increase in asylum applications submitted upon arrival at airports in recent weeks, especially from the following nationalities: Mexico, India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Uganda.” , a spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency.

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Close with little effect

Data from Immigration and Refugees Canada shows the closure of Roxham Road had a short-term impact on the flow of asylum seekers into Quebec.

In fact, the province experienced a lull for a few weeks, last March and April, but the flow has risen again since then.

In Quebec, last September was the third month with the highest total number of applications since at least 2017, when Roxham Road began making headlines.

Across the country, a record number of total asylum applications for one month was recorded last September, amounting to 15,340 applications. In fact, the rest of Canada, and Ontario in particular, is witnessing an unprecedented increase in asylum applications while it was previously immune to this phenomenon. Wroxham Road time.

Less organized reception

According to Mr Reichhold, the Wroxham Road has the advantage of being able to better guide people seeking asylum when they arrive. “We knew who was coming and everything was under control.”

But since its closure, the flow of applicants has changed little, but the diversity of their means of entering the country makes disseminating information and organizing their reception more limited, according to Reichhold.

In fact, the numbers show that more of them are filing their applications at offices on Canadian soil and doing so by land at an official border crossing.

According to Franz Andre, from the Action Committee for Persons Without Status (CAPSS), more and more asylum seekers quickly become homeless upon arrival in the country.

“I have a lot of people who come in with a lot of distress. One day, I had to pay for an Uber for someone to go to the YMCA because he had slept on the streets the day before and had no money,” he says.

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About the Author: Hermínio Guimarães

"Introvertido premiado. Viciado em mídia social sutilmente charmoso. Praticante de zumbis. Aficionado por música irritantemente humilde."

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