As the United States has stepped up deportations of Somalis with criminal records, some have crossed illegally into Canada and made refugee claims under false identities, according to an intelligence report obtained by Global News.
The fear of deportation by U.S. immigration authorities appears to have driven some Somalis with criminal histories to travel north and illicitly cross the border to claim asylum, said the Canada Border Services Agency Intelligence Brief.
While those with serious criminal pasts represent only a small fraction of Somali refugee claimants, the report said the U.S. removal policy was “posing an increased security risk as some of these individuals are fleeing to Canada.”
“Somali nationals with criminal records in the U.S. may be attempting to evade justice by claiming refugee protection in Canada,” said the report, distributed by the CBSA’s Intelligence Operations and Analysis Division.
The report said 16 Somalis with “serious” criminal pasts were known to have arrived in Canada from the U.S. between 2012 and 2015. Six had records in the U.S. for sexual offences — three involving minors as victims. Eleven with records in Minnesota had illegally crossed the border in the same area near Emerson, Manitoba. They were among 164 Somalis flagged by the CBSA for serious crime and national security concerns during that period.
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