A small stretch of road between the United States and Canada has become a popular destination for asylum seekers. Located in upstate New York, Roxham Road has become a de facto port of entry for thousands of people looking to start a new life in Canada.
In the last year, close to 40,000 migrants have crossed into Canada seeking asylum. Every day, approximately 150 people make the journey, having traveled from as far away as Brazil.
The situation at Roxham Road is symptomatic of a larger global crisis. With millions of people displaced by war, poverty, and persecution, the United States and Canada are facing an unprecedented wave of asylum seekers. While both countries are working to find a solution, the sheer number of migrants is a challenge to both governments.
As more and more migrants flock to Canada’s unofficial border along Roxham Road, the country is facing a backlog of asylum applications that is only growing. This influx of migrants is resulting in long waits for work permits and even longer waits for social security numbers.
The number of asylum applications rose from 56,300 in January 2022 to almost 71,000 in December, an increase of 26%. The processing time for these applications can now take up to two years, with a rejection rate of 28%. What’s more, the wait for an ID appointment for new asylum seekers is now about two years.