The Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen recently said at a World Refugee Day conference that he wants to see Canada take in more refugees as economic immigrants.
Currently, Canada has separate streams to process refugees and immigrants. By allowing refugees to enter through economic immigrant streams, the decision could potentially blur the lines between the two systems.
“My wish is that we continue to increase levels in our immigration system for refugees. I’m very open to saying that, and I will do whatever I can, in whatever position I am in, to continue to push for higher refugee numbers every single year,” said Hussen.
Currently, Canada takes in more refugees than any other country in the world. According to statistics from the United Nations, Canada welcomed 28,100 refugees in 2018.
Between February 2017 to March 2019, Canada has had a total intake of 41,577 illegal border crossers, only 13,857 of which have been finalized according to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRRB).
Asylum claims have grown to such a degree that the system has become extremely backlogged. The IRRB has admitted that it no longer can eliminate the backlog but only manage its growth. Currently, refugee and asylum claimants must wait up to five years before even receiving a hearing on their application.
A pilot project by the Liberal government has already been in the works to streamline refugees through Canada’s immigration system.
According to National News Watch, one Syrian refugee has made it into Canada through the Liberal pilot.