Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation
CBSA officers say they have noticed some refugee claimants who have crossed into Canada irregularly are now acting as "anchor relatives" for family members, allowing their immediate and extended family members to cross at an official border entry and not be considered irregular migrants. RCMP officers patrol the border from Champlain, N.Y., into Canada, Wednesday May 9, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

OTTAWA:  Newly released figures show Canadian officials have removed only a handful of the hundreds of irregular migrants who arrived in Canada while they were already facing deportation orders from the United States.

Numbers tabled recently in the House of Commons show nearly 900 irregular migrants intercepted by the Mounties in Canada since April 2017 were already under removal orders issued by American authorities.

As of late June, only six of these people had been removed from Canada.

Border Security Minister Bill Blair created some confusion over the weekend after he told Global News in an interview that the “overwhelming majority” of asylum seekers who have crossed irregularly into Canada over the last 21 months have left the country.

Blair issued an apology this afternoon, saying he “clearly misspoke” and that the majority of asylum seekers remain in Canada awaiting the outcome of their refugee claims.

Since early 2017, more than 34,000 asylum seekers have crossed into Canada through unofficial points. To date, only a total of 398 _ or about one per cent _ have been removed.