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Canada

Immigration detention has been at the centre of a burgeoning public debate in Canada since 2010, when hundreds of Sri Lankan asylum seekers arrived on Vancouver Island aboard a Thai cargo ship called the MV Sun Sea. The heated public debate over this episode reflects the country’s increasingly restrictive approach to immigration and asylum, as well as growing negative attitudes expressed by large segments of the population. Many of Canada’s detention practices compare unfavourably to peer countries. For instance, Canada is one of only a small number of major industrialized countries to make widespread use of prisons for immigration purposes and to have mandatory detention provisions.  

Canada Quick Facts

  • Immigration detainees:
    9976
    Detained minors:
    294
    Persons expelled :
    13249
    International migrants:
    7284100
    New asylum applications :
    20500