The number of U.S. citizens who applied for asylum in Canada reached a record high following Donald Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election, according to a report in The Guardian.
Only 395 Americans applied for asylum in 2016, compared with 2,550 in 2017, according to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. The number is the highest since the agency started tracking the data in 1994.
A Montreal-based immigration lawyer told The Guardian a majority of the asylum seekers were born in the U.S. but crossed the border with their noncitizen parents.
"Most of the Americans applying for refugee status are the children of non-residents," Stéphane Handfield said. "They are U.S. citizens because they were born there, but they come across the border with their parents because they don't want to be separated.”
U.S. citizens were the third-largest group of asylum seekers behind Haitian (7,785 applicants) and Nigerian (6,005) immigrants, per Canadian data.
Through August of this year, 1,215 Americans have requested refuge in Canada.
Trump has repeatedly said he wants to end birthright citizenship and has moved to end temporary protected status for Haitians. Montreal has a large Haitian community.
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