OTTAWA — Bill Blair, the federal public safety minister, says fewer than 10 asylum seekers have been turned back to the U.S. since the historic shutdown of the border.
Blair provided the figure to the House of Commons on Monday, noting it has been almost a month since the Canada-U.S. border closed to all but non-essential travel to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
The deal struck by the two countries included a provision that those crossing between formal border points in order to seek asylum would also be turned back.
Figures published ton Monday by the Immigration Department suggest, however, that the flow of people prior to that remained relatively steady.
The RCMP intercepted 930 people crossing irregularly in Canada in March, down from 1,002 the same month last year.
So far this year, 3,035 people have been intercepted crossing between formal border points, up from 2,698 in the first three months of 2019.