Border-security minister says backlog of asylum seeker screening doesn't constitute security problem

Canada's border-security minister says there is a backlog in the screening of asylum seekers, but Bill Blair says it doesn't constitute a security problem.

Internal government documents obtained by lawyer Richard Kurland under the federal access-to-information law show that as of February 28th, 2018, there were 11-thousand, 745 asylum-seekers waiting for second security screenings, up from 16-hundred and 83 just two years earlier.

All those in the queue had already been screened once at the border to see whether they posed clear security threats.

Overall, 41 per cent of the backlog cases were refugee claimants ``who are already in Canada but who have not been security screened.''

Canada Border Services Agency officials wrote that in a presentation outlining why things were so backed up, and who was stuck in it.

In the Commons, Blair said officials check all asylum-seekers at the border and stressed ``there is no security threat to Canadians.''

But Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel questioned how Blair can say there are no security threats if the people involved had yet to go through the full screening process.