A Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer informs migrants of their rights at a known irregular entry point into Quebec from the U.S, Aug. 7, 2017. (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)

Canada seeking to change “safe third country” deal, stiffen the border

Canada’ security minister told reporters today the government is seeking to modify the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) with the U.S.

Canada has recently seen a massive influx of migrants crossing illegally into Canada from the U.S. through a largely undefended border.

Once in Canada they make asylum claims.

The safe third country deal obliges “refugees” to make their asylum claims in the first safe country they arrive.

If a claimant tries to enter either Canada from the U.S, or vice versa,  at a recognized border crossing they will be turned back and told to make their asylum claim in that country

But if they make it into the country, they can make a claim, hence many have entered Canada at known but illegal points.

Many of these claimants have been living in the U.S, but under temporary protection which is under threat of being revoked by U.S president Trump.

Recently many crossing illegally into Canada are arriving in New York by plane from Nigeria, and then travelling by bus to a small town near the Quebec border, then taking a taxi to the known crossing point.

While there are several known illegal crossing points in Canada, about 6,000 have crossed into Quebec alone so far this year and made asylum claims.

An asylum seeker is confronted by an RCMP officer as he crosses the border into Canada from the United States on August 21, 2017. Canada wants to extend the SCTA to be able to force migrants to go back to the U.S. Photo: .Paul Chiasson/CP

Expand the safe third country deal

Canada is seeking now to have STCA deal extended to include anywhere along the entire U.S-Canada border.

Canadian officials first began raising the issue with their U.S counterparts last September after over 5,000 had crossed into Canada in August alone. Over 25,000 had crossed into Canada illegally last year and several more overtures have been made since.

Officials are expecting many more of these migrants to cross at these known but illegal points as the weather warms. As American policy is to prevent migrants from coming, and send back illegals already in the U.S., Americas have been, as one Canadian official put it, “not responding rapidly” to Canadian requests.

Categories: Immigration & Refugees, International, Politics
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