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Available Expert - Increase in irregular border crossings

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Two Queen's University experts are available to comment on reports that the number of irregular border crossings continues to rise.

The Canadian Border Services Agency reports that 887 people were intercepted by the RCMP crossing the border last month - an increase from the 658 who were arrested in February and more than double the 315 caught crossing in January. The increase has been linked to the changing political climate in the United States and the Safe Third Country Agreement which requires asylum seekers to file their claim in the country in which they first arrive - but does not apply to those who arrive in the United States and sneak across the border to make their claim while already on Canadian soil.

Sharry Aiken is an associate professor in the Queen’s University Faculty of Law. She is an expert on immigration and refugee law and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in a number of precedent setting immigration cases. Her research focuses on the controversies, complexities and challenges posted by immigration and border security.

Professor Aiken is also available to comment on the case of Michelle Omoruyi - a Regina woman charged with human smuggling and conspiracy to committ human smuggling after assisting nine individuals in attempting to cross the border between North Portal, North Dakota and Northgate, Saskatchewan.

Please note she is available for phone interviews for print and radio only. 

Christian Leuprecht is a professor in the Department of Political Studies and the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University and a Munk Senior Fellow in Security and Defence at the Macdonald Laurier Institute. He is also cross-appointed as a professor of political science at the Royal Military College of Canada. He has commented extensively in the media on topics such as terrorism, global security, defence and border security policy. He recently authored an article for Inside Polics, which examined measures to prevent irregular crossings before they occur.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.caat Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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Attention broadcasters: Queen’s has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds. For television interviews, we can provide a live, real-time double ender from Kingston with HD-SDI. Please call for details.

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