By Breck Dumas
Canada announced Tuesday it will boost spending on border security in an effort to clamp down on asylum-seekers crossing into its country from the U.S.
The Canadian government is committing an additional $902 million over the next five years in an attempt to stem the flow of asylum-seekers from nations like Nigeria and Central American countries who are swarming its border from the U.S.
According to Reuters, 57,000 “irregular migrants” poured into Canada last year, overwhelming the country’s court system and burdening its welfare programs. Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the purpose of the enhanced border enforcement was “to detect and intercept individuals who cross Canadian borders irregularly and who try to exploit Canada’s immigration system.”
The new initiative is being driven, at least in part, by voters frustrated that elected officials haven’t done more to deter migrants from planting roots in the country, Reuters reported.
In a separate Reuters report from last year, the publication said an uptick in illegal border crossings began in January 2017, when several Haitian immigrants fled to Canada from the U.S. over fears of losing their temporary legal status in America. Thousands of Nigerians have fled the U.S. seeking safe haven in Canada for the same reason.