By Nicholas Keung, Toronto Star, Nov. 22, 2017
With another influx of Haitian refugees from the U.S. in sight, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen is warning that Canada is not a viable option for them — and data released Wednesday by Ottawa backs him up on that.
The federal government has been on high alert since the Trump administration announced this week it will end its temporary residency permit program that has allowed 60,000 Haitians to stay in the United States. Haitian migrants have until July 2019 to return to their country.
On Wednesday, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada released data on the outcomes of the 1,314 asylum decisions made involving those who crossed unguarded points along the border with the United States from February to October. Of those, 941 were accepted and 373 rejected. Some other 258 claims were either abandoned or withdrawn. Almost 12,900 of the 14,470 refugee claims are still pending.
Haitians, who account for 6,304 or 44 per cent of those claims, were among those with the lowest acceptance rate, at 17 per cent. Only 29 of the 168 Haitian border-crossers were granted asylum after a hearing as of Oct. 31.
On Wednesday, Hussen cited the Haitians’ acceptance rate as 10 per cent, using the number of cases “finalized” as the base which included the 130 additional claims that were either abandoned or withdrawn from the system, instead of just the total positive and negative decisions…