An asylum seeker, claiming to be from Eritrea, is confronted by an RCMP officer as he crosses the border into Canada from the United States on August 21, 2017 near Champlain, N.Y. The number of asylum seekers who crossed into Canada irregularly in August increased slightly over the previous month, but did not reach the record spikes experienced over the summer months last year. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Federal stats show slight increase in irregular migrant claims in August

113 extra people tried to cross the Canadian border last month

The number of irregular border crossers seeking asylum in Canada increased slightly in August, but were far below the record spikes seen last summer.

Newly published federal data shows the Mounties apprehended 1,747 irregular migrants between official border crossings in August, an increase of 113 from July.

This marks the second consecutive month of increases following a downward trend in crossers that began in May.

More than 3,300 irregular migrants were apprehended in July and August, less than half of the just over 8,800 apprehended during the same period last year.

Conservative Immigration critic Michelle Rempel says the total number of asylum seekers so far for this year is higher than the total that crossed irregularly between January and August in 2017.

Pressed on the issue in Monday’s question period, Border Security Minister Bill Blair said the government is taking steps to stem the flow of irregular crossers, including working with his U.S. counterpart.

The Canadian Press

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