How much do you know about asylum claims in Canada?

You may have heard in the news about people coming into Canada at irregular border crossings. But how much do you actually know about what kinds of rights they have, and how it affects Canada? Take the quiz below to learn about some common misconceptions about asylum seekers.

Question 1 of 11: Asylum claimants and immigrants are the same thing.

  • True
  • False
Read all the questions and answers.

Question 1 of 11: Asylum claimants and immigrants are the same thing.

False. An asylum claimant is different from an immigrant. An immigrant chooses to settle in Canada. An asylum claimant is asking for Canada’s protection because they fear persecution or risk to their life if sent back to their home country.

Question 2 of 11: Asylum claimants are dangerous. There is no way to adequately do a security check for those who come in between ports of entry.

False. Asylum claimants who enter irregularly are immediately detained and undergo thorough security and background screening. If the screening finds that someone poses a risk, they are barred from making an asylum claim; instead, they are detained and removed.

NO claimant is released into the community without a security screening.

Question 3 of 11: Asylum claimants are delaying the applications of immigrants who have been patiently waiting to come to Canada.

False. Asylum claimants are not placed ahead of immigrants who are coming to Canada from abroad through other immigration streams.

Asylum claims are assessed and decided at the Immigration and Refugee Board. Immigration applications, including resettled refugee applications, are assessed and decided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Asylum claims are in a separate system and do not delay other types of immigration applications.

Question 4 of 11: Asylum claimants get more money and benefits than Canadians (the elderly, veterans).

False. Asylum claimants do not get more financial help from the federal government than Canadian pensioners or veterans. Asylum claimants work to support themselves while their claims are being assessed. In certain instances, asylum claimants can apply for temporary social assistance, which is provided at the same rates as to any other applicant for social assistance.

Question 5 of 11: Canada can close the border to asylum claimants.

False. Asylum claims are governed by international treaties to which Canada is a signatory. Those with a legitimate need for protection have a right to make an asylum claim. Canada has a legal responsibility to assess asylum claims, regardless of how claimants enter the country.

Question 6 of 11: Canada can send asylum claimants back to where they came from without a hearing.

False. Asylum claims are governed by international treaties to which Canada is a signatory. As such, Canada has a legal responsibility to assess asylum claims, regardless of how claimants enter the country.

Question 7 of 11: Canada can unilaterally change the Safe Third Country Agreement to apply to the entire Canada-US border.

False. The Safe Third Country Agreement is an agreement between Canada and the United States. Changes to the agreement must be accepted by both parties.

Question 8 of 11: Canada can designate the entire Canada-US border as an official crossing.

False. There are a number of designated official border crossings across Canada. Deeming a 9,000 km-long border an official crossing is costly, impractical, and cannot be done without US cooperation. This would increase the risk to both Canadians and asylum seekers. It would lead to people crossing at more remote locations to evade detection by Canadian law enforcement.

Question 9 of 11: Canada has done nothing to prepare for the arrival of more asylum seekers.

False. We developed a national operations plan, working collaboratively with provinces to prepare for any scenarios. We have been working with our missions in the US to directly engage communities and are using social media to build awareness that there is no free ticket into Canada. We invested $173.2 million through Budget 2018 towards managing irregular migration by ensuring security at the border and faster processing of asylum claims.

Question 10 of 11: It takes too long for asylum seekers to get authorization to work.

False. Work permits are generally issued within 3 weeks so that asylum claimants can work and support themselves while awaiting a decision on their claim.

Question 11 of 11: The United States is doing nothing to help Canada address irregular migration.

False. Canada has been engaged in ongoing discussions with US officials in the United States and Nigeria on issues related to irregular migration and our shared border. We continue to share information, increase our cooperation, and raise emerging issues, including the Safe Third Country Agreement, with the US.

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