A record-high number of U.S. citizens sought asylum in Canada in 2017, according to new data from Canadian immigration officials.
The Guardian reported Wednesday that about 2,550 U.S. citizens applied for asylum in 2017, more than six times as many as the year before, and the highest number since Citizenship and Immigration Canada began tracking the data in 1994.
U.S. citizens made up the third-largest group of asylum seekers last year, following Haitian and Nigerian immigrants, according to the Canadian data.
The majority of those seeking asylum in Canada are U.S. citizens who were born in the country but crossed the border with their noncitizen parents, a Montreal-based immigration lawyer told The Guardian.
Canada has seen an increase in asylum-seekers from the U.S. under President TrumpDonald TrumpUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Collins to endorse LePage in Maine governor comeback bid Heller won't say if Biden won election MORE, with many citing his policies and rhetoric on immigration as their reason for fleeing to the north, according to reports.
“We left because President Trump said he wanted to deport people,” one Haitian man, Tiroude, told The Guardian.
Tiroude, who asked that his last name not be used, reportedly crossed into Canada and claimed asylum with his wife, also a Haitian immigrant, and their daughter, a U.S. citizen by birth.
Earlier this year, Trump moved to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for more than 300,000 migrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras and Sudan. A federal judge blocked the Trump administration from ending TPS for people from those countries last month.
And last month, Trump said in an interview that he planned to end birthright citizenship via executive order, a vow that has divided Republicans and prompted backlash from legal experts who say the move would be unconstitutional.