TORONTO, July 8 (UPI) -- Law enforcement agencies have been searching the Toronto area for 20,000 illegal immigrants, including suspected war criminals, an official said.
Reg Williams of the Canada Border Services Agency said the crackdown includes warrants for as many as 50 war criminals and 1,400 foreign criminals sought by an immigration task force that includes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Toronto Police and the Ontario Provincial Police, the Toronto Sun reported Friday.
"These people did not comply or report to immigration officials as required," said Williams, director of CBSA inland enforcement in the Toronto area. "These are warrants for people that we are actively looking for."
Williams said many of the alleged war criminals came to Canada as refugee claimants from the Balkan countries, Africa and Central America. As information about their backgrounds surfaced, officials worked to revoke their refugee claims and deport them.
Priority is given to illegal immigrants with criminal or violent backgrounds, Williams said.
"All our officers have priority cases of fugitives they are searching for," Williams said. "These people were last known to be in the GTA [Greater Toronto Area] and we will find them."