Subject: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-- Refugee claims up by 76% in 2017

January 29, 2018

Refugee claims up by 76% in 2017
Report also details settlement sites, trends

January 26, 2018 (Vancouver, BC) – 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 today (

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.

“The refugee claimant arrivals in 2017 were the highest in several decades,” said Chris Friesen, director of ISSofBC settlement services. “We are bracing for even higher arrivals in 2018 and as a result, have strengthened our multi-pronged approach to help address the diverse needs of these newcomers seeking asylum in this country.”

For more information, contact:

Chris Friesen - Director, Settlement Services
Phone: 778-995-3009

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