USA and Canada reached an agreement to turn away asylum seekers who arrive through unofficial border crossings across the northern US border.
Until now, many migrants were crossing irregularly into Canada via Roxham Road, an unofficial border crossing between the US state of New York and the Canadian province of Quebec.
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The agreement announced this Friday closes a legal loophole that exists in a 2004 bilateral pact that until now allowed Canada to reject immigrants at official points of entry, but not at unofficial border crossings, like Roxham Road, where tens of thousands of asylum seekers have entered the country in recent months.
As part of the new agreement, Canada will also establish a refugee program for 15,000 migrants fleeing persecution and violence in Central and South America.
The new pact will take effect at midnight on Friday.
The president of the United States, Joe Biden, was this Friday in Ottawa (Canada) on a 24-hour trip to discuss a series of economic, commercial and immigration issues with his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau.
Biden spoke before the Canadian Parliament on Friday, before the two leaders held a joint press conference, in which Trudeau gave details of the new immigration policy.
The US has also detected an increase in immigrant crossings into Canada.
The new agreement is expected allow authorities on both sides of the border to send back asylum seekers in either direction.
The new covenant is an amendment to the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) of 2004, which requires migrants to apply for asylum in the first “safe” country they arrive in, either the United States or Canada.
The STCA, which allows US and Canadian authorities to turn away asylum seekers in both directions at formal ports of entry, did not apply to unofficial crossings.
That caused many migrants to try to enter Canada through places where there is no official border crossing.
the new deal“it’s not going to stop people”Abdulla Daoud, executive director of the Montreal Refugee Center, told the BBC on Friday, adding that he is concerned that he could “encourage human trafficking”.
Daoud considered the new refugee program insufficient.
“We had 40,000 crossings last year. That’s why 15,000 is a low number and only for one part of the world, the Western Hemisphere.”
Negotiations on a new border agreement between the United States and Canada have stalled for months.
US officials did not want to rewrite the 2004 pact as the country was focused on its own migration crisis on the US-Mexico border.
The new agreement between the US and Canada does not require the approval of the US Congress.
With additional reporting by Eloise Alana in Montreal
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.