By News Wire |
The number of migrants crossing the border into Canada irregularly is down by roughly half compared to this time last year.
New numbers published by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada show a total of 1,196 irregular migrants crossed into Canada at unofficial points of entry in May, with the vast majority of those — 1,149 — crossing into the province of Quebec.
And while that province remains Canada’s epicentre of irregular border crossings, the numbers overall paint a picture of a dramatic year-over-year decrease in the number of migrants entering the country at irregular points.
Between January and May 2019, a total of 5,140 irregular migrants were intercepted by the RCMP. That’s a decrease of 46 per cent compared to the 9,481 who were intercepted during the same period last year.
Quebec, Manitoba and British Columbia continue to be the main sites of those interceptions. Only Manitoba has seen a small but steady increase between January and May 2019; however, that month-to-month increase remains below the levels the province saw last year.
In that province, irregular migration stalled to one per month in both January and February before increasing to 13 and 15 in March and April, respectively, and 27 last month.
B.C. saw its numbers go from 16 in January to six in February, 22 in March, 25 in April and 20 in May.
In Quebec, the scale of the issue remains larger than in the other provinces but markedly below the levels seen last year.
The province received 871 irregular migrants in January and 800 in February. That increased to 967 in March and 1,206 in April.
In 2018, it received 1,459 in January, 1,486 in February, 1,884 in March, 2,479 in April and 1,775 in May.
Since the influx began in early 2017, irregular migration numbers have tended to be lower during the colder months than the warmer ones, but that trend is not absolute and officials have cautioned against attributing the numbers to any kind of summer wave in migration.
For example, even during the peak of the problem in 2018, 1,263 irregular migrants crossed the border in June compared to 1,517 in January.