The current number of asylum claims by illegal border crossers is up when compared to last year, according to government statistics. 

Official numbers show that 39,705 people have claimed asylum in Canada so far after crossing the border illegally from the U.S. 

This number is about 5,000 more than in 2018. If trends continue, the total number of illegal crossings will be substantially higher than last year. 

While illegal crossings continue to grow, the Liberal government has failed to combat the growing backlog and long wait times of asylum applicants. 

Earlier this year, the Auditor General of Canada predicted that wait times could balloon to five years by 2024 if the backlog continues unchecked. The Immigration and Refugee Board has opted to “manage” the current growth, instead of reducing the backlog due to the severity of the situation.

“We project that if the number of new asylum claimants remains steady at around 50,000 per year, the wait time for protection decisions will increase to five years by 2024 — more than double the current wait time,” said auditor general Sylvain Ricard in a recent report on the issue. 

Despite pledging over one billion dollars for a border strategy this year, the Liberals have failed to slow down or stop the illegal border crossings.

Ontario and Quebec will be taking the brunt of the continuous inflow which is putting a hamper on both provinces’ ability to deal with the costs incurred by illegal immigration.

The Trudeau government also pledged hundreds of millions of extra dollars to aid the two provinces in their efforts to house and maintain the border situations. 

Shortly after the new year, the Liberals devoted around $114 million to help provinces deal with the housing costs of illegal migrants. Most recently, the Trudeau government pledged an additional $250 million to help Quebec with the costs incurred by illegal border crossings.