Backlog of irregular asylum claims has ballooned to over 28,000

Backlog of irregular asylum claims has ballooned to over 28,000
The arms-length agency that processes asylum claims in Canada says the average wait time for completing new claims is currently 21 months, despite an injection of $74 million from government to address a major backlog of files. A family claiming to be from Colombia, is arrested by RCMP officers as they cross the border into Canada from the United States as asylum seekers near Champlain, N.Y., on April 18, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

OTTAWA – The backlog of asylum claims from irregular migrants awaiting a decision on whether they can stay in Canada has grown to over 28,000.

New statistics from the Immigration and Refugee Board show over 5,000 new refugee claims were filed between July and September of this year.

This was just over 1,100 fewer claims than the previous quarter.

But despite a recent boost in resources and staffing from government, the board finalized only about 1,600 claims in the same period, so the backlog got longer.

The Liberals promised $74 million over two years in the 2018 budget to address the major backlog of refugee claims, many of which are coming from “irregular” migrants crossing the Canada-U.S. border away from official crossings.

Refugee claims from other groups have also been on the rise, which has led to a current total backlog of over 64,000 refugee claims at the IRB.