A record number of US citizens are seeking asylum in Canada

canada asylumA group of asylum seekers wait to be processed after being escorted from their tent encampment to the Canada Border Services in Lacolle, Quebec, Canada August 11, 2017.Reuters

  • A record number of US citizens applied for asylum status in Canada in 2017.
  • Canadian government data from the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship department show they received 2,550 applications for asylum in 2017.
  • That's six times more than the country received in 2016.
  • US citizens were third on the list of total asylum applications, after Haitians and Nigerians.

A record number of US citizens applied for asylum in Canada during 2017, the most since 1994.

A total of 2,550 US citizens applied for asylum Canada in 2017 - six times more than in 2016, according to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada cited by The Guardian.

That's the largest number of applications Canada has ever received from American citizens since the dataset started reporting the numbers in 1994, they said.

US citizens make up the third-largest group of asylum-seekers in the 2017 dataset, after Haitians and Nigerians, the Guardian reported.

The majority of US asylum seekers in Canada are citizens who naturalized via "birthright citizenship" as they were born on US soil, Stéphane Handfield, a Montreal-based immigration lawyer told the Guardian. Many of them fled to Canada with their parents, who aren't US citizens.

Read more: Trump plans to end birthright citizenship - here's what the law says about that

canada asylumA group of Haitian asylum seekers sit with shopping bags outside the Olympic Stadium, which is being used for temporary housing for asylum seekers, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada August 2, 2017.Reuters

In early 2017, Canada started receiving a larger-than-expected number of asylum applications after US President Donald Trump said he was going to scrap a scheme offering temporary protected status to immigrants from countries like Haiti, CTV wrote.

In October 2018, Trump said he wanted to end "birthright citizenship," which he called a "ridiculous" practice of granting citizenship to children born in the US to non-citizen parents. He hasn't made an official policy move on that plan yet.
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