Data out of Toronto shows that asylum claimants make up a third of the population of homeless shelters.
Total occupancy by asylum claimants reached 30% in municipal shelters last month, with some staying as long as six months at a time.
“We’re running about 9,000 beds per night in the shelter system, and right now about 2,700 of those beds on a nightly basis are being utilized by refugee claimants,” said the head of Toronto’s shelter programming, Gord Tanner.
“We are trying our best to string people into the programs that best meet their needs. But at this time, it’s been very difficult with the high number of people arriving.”
Although Roxham Road was officially closed, the city has struggled to deal with the influx of migrants – some of whom have arrived via Toronto Pearson International Airport.
As of March, anybody arriving at the Roxham Road illegal crossing will be turned away and denied asylum seeker status.
Asylum claimants are being told to go through proper channels and arrive at designated points of entry.
“After midnight tonight, police and border officers will enforce the agreement and return irregular border crossers to the closest port of entry,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Mar. 24.
Trudeau’s decision to shut down the illegal crossing point comes after Quebec asked the federal government to alleviate the demand placed on the province to take in the new arrivals.
Ottawa has since begun bussing asylum claimants from Quebec elsewhere including places like Niagara Falls.
According to a True North exclusive, Alberta and British Columbia have no current plants to accept relocated Roxham Road asylum claimants.