Canadian authorities caught 887 asylum seekers crossing unlawfully into Canada from the United States in March, nearly triple the number in January, according to numbers released by the government Wednesday.
This brings the total number of asylum seekers caught walking across the border to 1,860 so far this year. The new statistics suggest those numbers could rise further as the weather warms.
Canada is on track to see the highest number of asylum claims in six years, given the pace of claims filed so far, as increasing numbers of people cross into Canada to make refugee claims in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's election and his crackdown on refugees and illegal immigrants.
Under the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, Canada is required to turn asylum seekers away if they try to file refugee claims at land border crossings. But if people cross the border in between formal crossings, they are taken into custody and questioned by both police and border authorities, then allowed to file claims and stay in Canada while they await the outcome.
Refugee advocates have argued that were it not for the Safe Third Country Agreement, people would file claims at border crossings instead.