OTTAWA - The Immigration and Refugee Board says a team set up to hear refugee claims from a surge of irregular border crossers this summer has heard about 300 cases.

And the board says of those, about 50 per cent have been given refugee status in Canada.

The board set up a special response unit in August to manage claims from the thousands of people who've filed for asylum at the Canada-U.S. border since July.

More than 8,000 claims were filed in Canada in July and August and the House of Commons immigration committee heard today that there were about 2,000 in the first half of September.

The head of the refugee protection division says the board is now projecting it will receive more than 40,000 claims altogether this year, far more than its capacity.

Shereen Benzvy Miller told the committee this morning that wait times for hearings will have to go up.