The number of individuals arriving in BC who are applying for refugee status in 2017 is 76% more than in the year before, and over 90% came by walking across the US border at the Peace Arch Park.
These were among statistics published in the Welcome Centre Refugee Claimants Statistical Highlights report released yesterday.
Over 1,200 refugee claimants were recorded last year compared to 725 in 2016; most of the 2017 arrivals were from Afghanistan, Iraq, Mexico, Iran and Colombia.
However, the number of Government-Assisted Refugees (GAR) that arrived in BC last year – 642 – was a third of the 1,911 that arrived in 2016.
But numbers are expected to increase over the next three years from 900 to 1,200 beginning in 2018, with the African continent likely to be a major source of GAR arrivals to BC.
These were among statistics published in the GAR Bulletin released today.
While GARs from Syria continued to dominate arrivals in 2017, there was a shift compared to 2016, with Eritrea replacing Afghanistan among the top five source countries. Joining Eritrea among countries on the African continent expected to generate GARs to BC in the months ahead are Somalia, Congo and Rwanda.