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Manitoba has been rated number two in the list of Canadian provinces impacted by the growing number of illegal border crossings in the month of March.

The number of illegal border crossers has been kept under wraps by the Canadian government and was only released Wednesday, April 19. A total of 331 asylum seekers were recorded crossing the border illegally from January 1st to March 31st, with dozens more happening in April that have not yet been reported.

It was estimated earlier this month by Emerson-Franklin Reeve Greg Janzen that the number is well over four hundred and fifty at this time since the beginning of 2017. 170 were intercepted by local RCMP just in the month of March, compared to 19 in January and 142 in February.

In the last couple of weeks three individuals who were processed had serious criminal records and were detained by police because they were considered a danger to the public. The union representing border patrol officers raised concerns about public safety after a female CBSA officer was assaulted by one of the migrants when being returned to his cell and causing damage to the sprinkler system within his cell.

The Union that represents border officers has indicated that nearly half of the asylum seekers entering near Emerson in the last few weeks have criminal backgrounds. Records provided by Canada Border Services Agency does not include numbers about asylum seekers with criminal backgrounds who were not detained.

Jean-Pierre Fortin, national president of the Customs and Immigration Union announced earlier this month that border officers have been under increased scrutiny in recent months and will only detain an asylum seeker "as a last resort."

Illegal crosser's can only be detained at the border for three reasons: They're a danger to the public, they're unlikely to appear for a removal hearing or their identity can't be determined. Border services officials could not confirm whether the three people who were recently detained are still in custody. The three could have been released by the Immigration Refugee Board on a promise to appear before the board for a removal hearing at a later date.

Anyone can be deemed "criminally inadmissible" when applying for refugee status in Canada, but could still be allowed into the country on a promise to appear at a future removal hearing.

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Hanover School Division

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