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Scheer suggests designating illegal border crossings as official

Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer speaks to reporters on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 21, 2017.

Justin Tang/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Opposition leader Andrew Scheer says the Liberal government should designate the illegal entry points into Canada being used by thousands of asylum seekers as official crossings.

Scheer says that's one way the government could stop a situation that's created havoc not just at the border but within the Canadian immigration system as a whole.

Nearly 10,000 people have been apprehended crossing illegally into Canada from the U.S. since January, with a major spike since July in people crossing at one particular spot in Quebec.

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The reason they're choosing to come through unofficial openings in the border is an agreement between Canada and the U.S. that precludes people from making asylum claims at official land border points.

Scheer says if the crossing in Quebec and another in Emerson, Man., were designated official, that would both deal with the problem and also send a signal to those in the U.S. that they can't just cross and get asylum.

The Conservative leader says Canadians are rapidly losing faith in the government's ability to manage the situation, despite the prime minister's contention that it's all under control.

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