As the United States has stepped up deportations of Somalis with criminal records, some have crossed illegally into Canada and made refugee claims under false identities, according to an intelligence report obtained by Global News.

The fear of deportation by U.S. immigration authorities appears to have driven some Somalis with criminal histories to travel north and illicitly cross the border to claim asylum, said the Canada Border Services Agency Intelligence Brief.

While those with serious criminal pasts represent only a small fraction of Somali refugee claimants, the report said the U.S. removal policy was “posing an increased security risk as some of these individuals are fleeing to Canada.”

“Somali nationals with criminal records in the U.S. may be attempting to evade justice by claiming refugee protection in Canada,” said the report, distributed by the CBSA’s Intelligence Operations and Analysis Division.

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