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Seekers: Asylum Seekers

seekers: Migrants from Somalia cross into Canada illegally from the United States in February 2017 by walking along train tracks into the town of Emerson, Man., where they sought asylum, according to Toronto Star. JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO Lawyer Richard Kurland said the fact so many asylum seekers have not yet had security screening is troubling. The internal government report showed the number of asylum seekers awaiting clearance had exploded sevenfold between 2016 and 2018. SUPPLIED PHOTO As of last February, Canada Border Services Agency had 11,745 asylum seekers in the queue for security assessment, up from just 1,683 two years earlier. Lawyer Richard Kurland, who obtained the border agency report under an access to information request, said all so-called irregular migrants who crossed the border for asylum from the U.S. would have undergone an initial identity check with the CIA and FBI based on biometrics information, such as fingerprints and travel documents, before being released for further screening by border agents, which may include personal records from a refugee claimant's home country. Refugee claimants accounted for 41 per cent of the overall security backlog, which also included screenings required for those applying for permanent residence, international students, foreign workers and visitors. ( As reported in the news.