IRB launching Irregular Border Crossing Response Team to address large and growing number of border crossings in Quebec

August 11, 2017 – Ottawa – In response to the large number of irregular border crossings from the United States by individuals seeking asylum in Canada, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is launching an Irregular Border Crossing Response Team, which will focus resources to address this growing intake.

Current estimates indicate that thousands have crossed the border in Quebec in the last month. Recognizing the urgent need to respond proactively to this situation, the IRB’s Refugee Protection Division (RPD) is assigning 20 decision-makers to the Response Team. The goal in building this Team is to minimize any impact on other RPD operations.

The IRB will coordinate with other government departments and agencies as well as the stakeholder community to help ensure the refugee determination system works effectively, in spite of this influx of new claims.

The IRB Irregular Border Crossing Response Team will operate until November 30, 2017, at which time we will assess the need to maintain it.


“In creating this Response Team, the IRB is obviously recognizing and responding to a pressing need. We are rising to this challenge.”

- Mario Dion, Chairperson, Immigration and Refugee Board

“While we recognize that some individuals with existing claims might be concerned about the effects this dramatic rise in intake may cause for them, we feel strongly that this is the best way possible to minimize impacts moving forward.”

- Shereen Benzvy Miller, Deputy Chair, IRB Refugee Protect Division

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