That is because their time in the United States could count against them when they apply for asylum in Canada, according to a Reuters review of Canadian federal court rulings on asylum seekers and interviews with refugee lawyers.
In 2016, 160 asylum cases came to the federal courts after being rejected by refugee tribunals. Of those, 33 had been rejected in part because the applicants had spent time in the United States, the Reuters review found.
Lawyers said there could be many more such cases among the thousands of applicants who were rejected by the tribunals in the same period but did not appeal to the federal courts.
The 2016 court rulings underscore the potentially precarious legal situation now facing many of the nearly 2,000 people who have crossed illegally into Canada since January.