After receiving Nigerian asylum seekers in large amounts, Ahmed Hussen, Canadian immigration minister, plans to visit Nigeria later this month to contain the flow of Nigerians who are walking into Canada by crossing the US – Canada border. The federal government is feeling extremely pressurized as it is unable to irregular crossings of people who want asylum in Canada because of dangerous and life-threatening conditions back home. Canada saw more than 5,000 irregular crossings in the first quarter of 2018 with another 2,500 entering the country in April 2018, which is three times more than illegal crossings in April 2018.
Majority of 2017’s illegal crossers were Haitians, who sought asylum in Canada after Trump administration canceled the temporary protected status of people from Haiti. However, this year Nigerians will dominate the asylum seeker in the country source list. Nigerians are buying American travel visas and walking across the border from New York to Quebec and approaching immigration authorities to seek asylum legally. Hussen will visit Nigeria to talk to both senior Nigerian and American authorities while Canadian immigration officials work with the US government to tackle the issue.
Hussen told that Canada values its relationship with Nigeria but the issue is real and the country needs help to address the problem as Nigerian citizens are abusing the US visa for entering Canada and seeking asylum.
Tightening American visa rules
Canada is also working with the US government to decrease the numbers, who has already tightened visa rules for Nigerian applicants. Marc Garneau, Transport Minister and Ralph Goodale, Public Safety Minister of Canada will be joining Hussen for a press conference in Montreal, which will feature how Canada is handling the migrant issue. Goodale said that coming across the Canadian border in a way that seeks to circumvent our procedures isn’t a free ticket to Canada.