There are currently 52,109 people in Canada awaiting deportation who have yet to leave the country, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

Deportation can take years due to a lengthy appeal process and a growing backlog of appeals.  

Officials can only enforce a deportation order once all legal avenues have been exhausted by the claimants. 

Each year, tens of thousands of illegal border crossers enter the country at unofficial border crossings. According to the RCMP, 16,503 people crossed into Canada illegally in 2019. 

As of June 2019, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reported that only 866 failed refugee claimants have been successfully deported to their countries since 2017.

CBSA officials have asked the government for more funding to deal with securing the border and keeping track of those ordered for deportation, and President of the Customs and Immigration Union Jean-Pierre Fortin has called for the number of deportation officers to be doubled. 

“We certainly don’t have the resources to track [the failed refugee claimants] down and to deport them,” said Fortin.

The backlog for asylum claim hearings is also continuing to grow. 

Last year, Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board admitted that it is unable to eliminate the asylum backlog as it stands and is only equipped to “manage” its growth. 

“What we’re focused on in terms of the next 24 months with the temporary funding in Budget 2018 and 2019 is not to eliminate the backlog. It is to slow the growth of the pace of the backlog from what it would otherwise be,” said IRB board member Richard Wex. 

Estimates claim that the board can expect the backlog to reach 100,000 cases by 2021 and it could cost Canadians $400 million to fix the issue.