A group of migrants crossing at a known illegal point into Canada in August 2017. Charles Krupa-AP(

Costs of migrant “irregular” entry and asylum claims

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Documents recently obtained by Post Media show that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, (RCMP) Canada’s national police force, has spent $6.6 million over two years dealing with migrants crossing into Canada from the U.S. away from border control points.

Almost all of the over 18,800 in 2017 and another over 18,500 in 2018 crossed at a well-known illegal entry point in Quebec.

The documents show that most of money spent was to cover officer overtime as they were required to man the illegal entry point 24/7.

As it can take up to 24 hours just for the initial processing by police, other costs involved feeding migrants, as well as diapers and baby food amongst other needs including creating of what has become a long-term temporary control post.

In a report late last year, the federal government’s Parliamentary Budget office said the costs incurred per asylum claimant entering Canada at illegal crossing points was about $14,346 as an averages

The report was called “Costing Irregular Migration across Canada’s Southern Border”.

It estimated costs to process migrant asylum claimants cost $340 million in 2017-18, rising to almost $400 million for 2019-20.

However the report includes only costs of the federal government. It says “An important cost to the refugee asylum process relates to social services provided by provincial and municipal governments….

. Notwithstanding an announcement of the reimbursement of $50

million to affected governments, the federal government has provided no guidance regarding the reimbursement of future expenses. As such, this non-federal cost is excluded from the PBO’s cost estimate.”

The city of Toronto alone is requesting $64.5 million from the federal government to cover its costs related to social services for migrants, while the province of Ontario estimates its costs for asylum claimants at some $200 million a year.

The province of Quebec is saying it’s owed about $300 million for dealing with migrants, noting that border issues are a federal jurisdiction, and as such costs incurred by people crossing at an illegaly entry point are a federal responsibility when it comes to costs incurred by the province.

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