Home Headlines The US and Canada reach deal to reject asylum seekers

The US and Canada reach deal to reject asylum seekers

by Yucatan Times
2 comments

The US and Canada have reached a deal to reject asylum seekers at unofficial border crossings, officials say.

Large numbers of migrants have been making unsanctioned crossings on Roxham Road at the US-Canada border.

The move closes a loophole created by a 2004 asylum agreement with the US on where migrants have to make their asylum claims.

It allowed Canada to turn migrants away at official points of entry but not at unofficial crossing points.

As a part of the deal, Canada will now also create a new refugee programme for 15,000 migrants fleeing persecution and violence in South and Central America, unnamed US officials told CBS News, the BBC’s US partner.

Mr Biden is in Ottawa, Canada, for 24 hours to talk about a series of economic, trade and immigration issues with Mr Trudeau.

The migration accord is scheduled to be announced before he returns to the US on Friday, March 24.

The agreement is expected to allow officials on both sides of the border to turn back such asylum seekers heading in either direction.

The US side has also seen a rise in migrant crossings into Canada.

The move is part of efforts to limit an influx of migrants at Roxham Road, an unofficial crossing between New York state and the province of Quebec.

The deal is an amendment to the two sides’ 2004 Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), which requires migrants to make an asylum claim in the first “safe” country they reach, whether it is the US or Canada.

The STCA allows US and Canadian officials to turn away asylum claimants in both directions at formal ports of entry, but does not apply to unofficial crossings.

That led to many migrants trying to enter Canada at places where there is no official border crossing. The new arrangement would close that loophole.

New York City authorities last month said they were providing free bus tickets for migrants to travel up towards the US border with Canada.

Negotiations on the new US-Canada border deal had been stalled for months, according to reports. US officials reportedly did not want to rework the agreement, as the country was bogged down with its own migrant crisis at the US-Mexico border.

Mr Biden’s administration has also proposed to crack down on asylum seekers at the US southern border with Mexico by making it harder for migrants to claim asylum once Covid border controls lift in May. The proposal has met backlash from human rights groups.

The new US-Canada agreement could take effect quickly as it does not require the approval of US Congress.

Mr Trudeau has argued the only way to halt irregular border crossings at Roxham Road is by renegotiating the Safe Third Country Agreement.

TYT Newsroom

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