Ottawa will spend $1Billion on asylum seekers and refugees in 2023
Funding for accommodations and temporary healthcare coverage for asylum seekers and refugees in 2023 will increase significantly. It is anticipated that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will spend one billion dollars in the upcoming fiscal year, including $530 million, to provide asylum seekers with short-term accommodations.
In addition, the government has announced a new plan to spend $469 million on temporary health insurance for asylum-seekers and refugees. Since 2017, IRCC has provided $551.6 million to the provinces and municipalities through its Interim Housing Assistance Program (IHAP) to reduce pressures on asylum-related housing issues.
Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA)
The boost in spending on accommodation and healthcare for asylum seekers and refugees came only three days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Joe Biden signed the most recent Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), which was done to close a loophole that had previously allowed migrants to enter Canada along its nearly 8,900 km border with America without authorization.
After talks at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles in June of last year, Trudeau and the American president reached a deal. Canada made a commitment at the time to accept 4,000 more immigrants annually by 2028.
Any migrants trying to get into Canada illegally will be returned back to the United States, according to the most recent STCA agreement signed between the two countries. Once there, individuals can legally ask for asylum in Canada.
STCA exceptions for asylum seekers and refugees in 2023
If you tried for asylum (refugee status) and did not qualify for an exception set out in the Agreement, you will be sent back to the United States. The STCA has a number of exceptions that take into consideration family unity, the best interests of children, and the public interest.
Four types of exceptions include:
- Family member exceptions
- Unaccompanied minors exception
- Document holder exceptions
- Public interest exceptions
A refugee claimant must still meet all other eligibility criteria established by Canada’s immigration laws, even if they fall under one of these exceptions.
39,000 immigrants entered Canada via Roxham Road last year
The STCA, which was first signed in 2004, only applied that policy to legitimate border crossings, allowing migrants to freely enter Canada through unofficial crossings like Roxham Road and stay there while they wait for hearings or decisions on their cases. According to reports, 39,000 migrants entered Canada illegally across Roxham Road last year. That wave of unauthorized immigrants seems to have halted due to the new STCA.
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