(CNN) Canada is facing an “unprecedented” number of asylum seekers, who have crossed the border from the United States, officials said.
“We’ve never seen those numbers,” said Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) spokesman Claude Castonguay. “Even though our officers are patrolling 24 hours a day all year long, we’ve never seen such numbers coming in.”
RCMP intercepted almost 7,000 asylums seekers in the last six weeks in Quebec.
Officials stressed that the influx can be handled and at no time has the security of the country been compromised.
But they cautioned that while Canada remains an open, welcoming country, crossing into it is not “a ticket for permanent residence.”
“Coming to Canada, asking for asylum in Canada is not a guarantee for permanent residence in Canada,” said Louis Dumas, spokesman for the immigration ministry in a Thursday press conference.
About 80 to 85% of the asylum seekers are of Haitian descent, according to RCMP.
The number …