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Canada is changing its asylum system in response to the thousands of would-be refugees pouring across the Quebec-New York border, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen (York South-Weston, Ont.) says the feds’ efforts to deter economic migrants from using the asylum system are now starting to pay off. It’s hard to tell yet whether the number of border crossers really is starting to drop, however, based on publicly-available data. The U.S.

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‘We’re in the middle of shifting our system to deal with a lot more irregular migrants,’ says Trudeau

By Peter Mazereeuw      

•This year’s federal budget gave the Immigration and Refugee Board an extra $74-million over the next two years to deal with the demands of the boom in 'irregular migration.' •‘You will be sent home,’ the PM tells economic migrants eyeing asylum claims, but Conservative critic Michelle Rempel says the Liberals are trying to ‘normalize’ illegal border crossings. •The IRB has hired 20 new staff, and plans to hire about 200 more in next few months. The extra funding will allow it to process at least 17,000 more asylum claims and 3,000 appeal cases, but it won’t be enough to allow the IRB to work through the more-than 57,000 cases currently on its plate in the next two years. •The IRB processed 40 per cent more asylum claims last year than it had in 2016.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, pictured leaving the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on June 20, and the Immigration and Refugee Board have tried to adapt Canada's asylum regime to better deal with the influx of thousands of people who have crossed the border in the past year. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
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