Liberals need to fix overwhelmed asylum system: Conservatives, advocates

OTTAWA – Refugee advocates say the Immigration and Refugee Board has done as much as it can to manage a historic surge in asylum claims, and the time has come for the Liberal government to act.

The IRB took the formal step this week of invoking an element of Canada’s immigration law that states they don’t have to follow legislated timelines to hear claims if doing so would unduly impact the operations of the board.

With around 47,000 claims filed since February 2017 and a backlog that grows by 2,100 cases a month, the IRB says adhering to those timelines is no longer feasible.

WATCH: Number of asylum seekers skyrockets

Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel says it feels like the government has given up, when it should be redoubling efforts to draft a policy to address the growing number of claimants.

At the same time, NDP critic Jenny Kwan says the IRB – and the system – would function far better if it was properly funded by the government.

READ MORE: Ralph Goodale unsure if there will be surge of illegal border-crossers in 2018

A spokesman for the minister says the IRB has done what it’s legally allowed to do and the government remains committed to an efficient and fair asylum system.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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