OTTAWA — A decision by the Trump administration to yank protected status for thousands of Haitians doesn’t appear to have prompted a new surge of asylum seekers at the Canada-U.S. border.
Data published Tuesday by the federal government show the RCMP stopped 1,623 people in November, down from 1,890 in October.
Still, while the number of border crossers is down markedly since a summer surge, the number of people stopped in just those two months is more than the RCMP stopped in all of 2016, suggesting a major outreach effort by the Liberals hasn’t entirely stemmed the tide.
Just 2,500 people were apprehended coming into Canada between official ports of entry last year, compared with 18,615 so far in 2017.
In August, the RCMP had stopped over 5,000 people in Quebec alone as they crossed into Canada to seek asylum. Many were believed to be propelled north by an impending change to U.S. immigration policy that would see the resumption of deportations to Haiti, following a pause instituted after the 2010 earthquake.
The U.S. formally announced in November that temporary protected status for Haitians would be lifted in 2019, raising fears of new pressures at the Canada-U.S. border. Since the summer spike, Canadian officials have conducted a massive outreach effort in the U.S., including dispatching members of Parliament and directing consulates to connect with community organizations representing not just Haitians but nationals of other Central American countries whose protected status is in limbo.