What that means is that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is between a rock and a hard place as he has an immigration problem at his southern border!
As tens of thousands of wannabe refugees go across the US border between points of entry and into Canada, anti-immigrant political hardliners are making the issue a critical one in the upcoming October national election.
Presently, a treaty with the US allows Canadian immigration authorities to turn back asylum seekers to a safe US at points of entry only, but not in between points of entry.
Canada wants to change the treaty in order to turn them all back, but that is tricky for Trudeau who has put out the welcome mat to the world for the first 3 years of his administration.
“…..the government’s proposed changes to the deal would clash with Canada’s image as a country that welcomes asylum seekers.”
Here is the news at The Globe and Mail (hat tip: Joanne)
Canada, U.S. move to redraft border treaty to cut flow of asylum seekers
Canada and the United States are a step closer to redrawing the Safe Third Country Agreement covering asylum seekers, as Ottawa looks to stem the flow of refugee claimants crossing between authorized points of entry.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sent a formal request to the State Department – which handles international treaties – to renegotiate the STCA with Canada, a source in the U.S. administration said. The source was granted anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Ottawa wants the pact changed to close a loophole, which would allow Canada to immediately deport most asylum seekers coming from the United States.
Canadian officials would take such asylum seekers to an official crossing, where they would be denied immediate entry. But that plan would have to clear legal hurdles articulated by the Supreme Court that guarantee a hearing to any refugee claimant setting foot in Canada.
More than 40,000 asylum seekers have entered Canada at unauthorized points of entry since U.S. President Donald Trump launched his crackdown on illegal immigration two years ago. The flood of claimants is bogging down the refugee protection system in Canada.
Under the current pact, most refugee claimants who come to Canada from the United States at official points of entry – such as border stations – are immediately sent back to the United States.But the pact does not apply between such points of entry, so those who cross between border stations have the right to make a refugee claim. Canada wants this changed so most people coming from the United States – at any point along the border – can be immediately deported.
The idea behind the treaty is that refugees do not face a risk of persecution in the United States, so it is safe for them to apply for asylum there – no need to continue on to Canada.
The U.S. government source said DHS officials are working with their counterparts at the State Department on the request to start negotiations – formally called a C-175. Under that process, a high-ranking State Department official, usually an assistant secretary, must approve the request. An approval would allow talks to begin, but would not determine the outcome.
One Canadian official, who was granted anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly, said between 60 and 70 per cent of the asylum seekers crossing the border between points of entry appear to have gone to the United States specifically for that purpose: They arrive in the United States on a visitor’s visa, with no intention of seeking asylum there, then immediately head to the border.
Interesting strategy by Canadian immigration advocates—declare the US not a safe country. Hey! That is an idea!
He [refugee lawyer Lorne Waldman] added that while it may be legal to send refugee claimants back to the United States at the moment, a continuing Federal Court challenge may change that. In 2017, the Canadian Council for Refugees, Amnesty International and the Canadian Council of Churches launched a legal challenge to change the designation of the United States as a safe country for refugees. The groups argue that the rights of refugees have been stripped under the Trump administration. The Federal Court will take at least another year to issue a decision, Mr. Waldman said.
Craig Damian Smith, an immigration expert at the University of Toronto, said the political calculus for Mr. Trudeau is clear: He wants to shore up Liberal support in Quebec and in the 905 suburbs around Toronto, where anti-refugee sentiment boiled over into protests against asylum seekers arriving from the United States last summer. While tightening the STCA will cause some advocates for refugees to sour on the Prime Minister, there are not enough of them to matter electorally.
Still, the government’s proposed changes to the deal would clash with Canada’s image as a country that welcomes asylum seekers.
There is much more here.
Of course what this means is that if the treaty is renegotiated in the way Canada is suggesting, more of those leaving the US will be pushed back to your town and mine.
Donald don’t bail out Justin!
Trump should just let them stew in their own juices! Or as mama once said, they made their bed, they need to sleep in it!