The number of U.S. citizens seeking refuge in Canada in 2017 increased more than sixfold compared to the year before.
The Guardian reported Wednesday around 2,550 Americans applied for asylum in Canada in 2017, citing data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. By comparison, only 395 Americans applied in 2016.
That means 2017 saw the largest number of U.S. asylum-seekers since Canada began tracking that data in 1994, according to The Guardian. But still, the U.S. only had the third-most applicants; Haiti and Nigeria claimed the top spots.
A Montreal-based immigration lawyer told The Guardian the Americans applying are U.S. citizens, but most want to move to the Great White North over concerns they'll be separated from non-citizen parents.
Some outlets suggest the jump in American asylum-seekers was driven by the Trump administration's tough immigration policies. Since taking office, President Donald Trump has moved to end the Temporary Protection Status program and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. More recently, he expressed a desire to end birthright citizenship for American-born children of undocumented immigrants and non-citizens.