PanamaTimes

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Trudeau to announce US-Canada asylum deal after Biden talks

Trudeau to announce US-Canada asylum deal after Biden talks

Move following meetings in Ottawa with the US president will in effect close a controversial border crossing

Justin Trudeau’s government has announced a major shift in how Canada and the US handle asylum claims, a move that effectively closes a controversial border crossing, after meetings in Ottawa on Friday with Joe Biden.

Under the deal, which Canadian officials hope will temper the increase in irregular border crossings in recent months, Canada will bring in 15,000 more South and Central American migrants to Canada. The prime minister’s office said in a statement the agreement would ensure more “fairness” in migration between the two countries.

The breakthrough on irregular migration was one of a handful of new policies and funding efforts announced by the two countries on Friday.

Until 2004, asylum claims could be made at any legal port of entry in Canada, where they would then be processed and claimants admitted if their claim was approved.

That changed when Ottawa successfully lobbied for the passage of the Safe Third Country Agreement, a deal that forced migrants to make asylum claims in the country where they first arrived. The current agreement applies to land-based ports of entry – but not to irregular or unofficial crossings.

In recent years, tens of thousands of migrants have circumvented the agreement and claimed asylum at unofficial points along the 5,500-mile US-Canada border. By extending the agreement to apply to the entire border, officials can now turn back migrants attempting to cross at unofficial border points.

Even though Canada pushed for the agreement in 2004, the deal has frustrated immigration officials in recent years amid a rise in asylum claims at the Quebec-New York border.

Last year, nearly 40,000 people entered Canada at Roxham Road, an informal crossing in the forests of upstate New York. In recent months, the crossing has become politically contentious, with opposition leaders and the Quebec premier calling for the crossing to be closed.

People walk with their luggage on Roxham Road before crossing the US-Canada border.


In January, Royal Canadian Mounted Police intercepted more than 5,000 asylum seekers along the road, the highest since the government started tracking the increase that began in 2017, following the election of Donald Trump as US president.

Changes to the deal only require an executive order, not congressional approval, meaning it could take effect quickly. The deal is expected to take effect just after midnight, according to the CBC’s Radio Canada.

Calls for an overhaul have also been spurred by a string of fatalities among people making irregular crossings in freezing winter weather.

But the decision to amend the agreement, which officials in the Trudeau government have been pushing for, has raised concerns that by deterring highly visible crossings, desperate asylum seekers could pursue more covert and dangerous crossings, as happens all too frequently at the US-Mexico border.

“If the Canadian government makes the agreement apply across the whole land border, they will be embarking on a job creation program for smugglers,” Audrey Macklin, a law professor at the University of Toronto, said before the announcement.

The amendment to the agreement also raises questions of enforcement.

Macklin said: “How exactly do you think you’ll patrol the thousandsof kilometres of border? Why would you do that? It would be an incalculable waste of all sorts of resources.”

American officials, who see as many as 200,000 irregular crossings at the southern US border each month, had pushed for Canada to help ease pressure on its border by helping to resettle 15,000 people.

It is unclear if those included in the quota would come through immigration, refugee or temporary foreign worker pathways. The deal is not expected to shift Canada’s current efforts to resettle 25,000 refugees this year and 29,000 by 2025.

Amnesty International condemned the decision to amend the agreement, calling it an “affront to the rights of refugee claimants seeking safety” echoing fears the move will “push migrants to attempt more dangerous crossings” into remote areas of Canada.

“It is also unconscionable that the government would take this step while the constitutionality of the agreement is under review by the supreme court of Canada,” the secretary of Amnesty International’s Canadian section, Ketty Nivyabandi, said in a statement, referring to an impending court decision on the constitutionality of the agreement itself.

In addition to a migration deal, the two leaders spoke about transitioning to clean energy, climate change and economic cooperation.

“I tell other world leaders I meet with – we’re lucky we have Canada to our north,” Biden said, calling the visit an “honour”.

The two countries also used the Ottawa visit, the first time a sitting US president has spent more than a few hours in the country in nearly two decades, to announce hundreds of millions in new funding efforts.

Canada pledged C$420m to protect the fragile ecosystems within the Great Lakes.

Under pressure from the Americans, Canada also announced C$100m in new funding for Haiti’s national police amid the Caribbean nation’s eroding political stability and security. Canada is also expected to announce plans to speed up its efforts on moderating its military hardware for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad).

Later in the day, Biden addressed Canada’s parliament, speaking to lawmakers, former prime ministers and a range of other guests.

Biden praised the countries’ shared values, including those of labour unions, and decades of cooperation. He told the hundreds gathered that the two countries were “two people” that “share one heart”.

“Our destinies are intertwined and they’re inseparable,” Biden said during his 40-minute speech. “I mean this from the bottom of my heart. There is no more reliable ally, no more steady friend. And today I say to you, you will always be able to count on the United States of America.”

Biden also said the two nations were “living in an age of possibilities”, noting a planned Nasa space mission to the moon, Artemis, will consist of a Canadian alongside American astronauts.

“We’re going to write the future together,” Biden remarked.

Among those present for the speech were Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, Canadian nationals who were jailed by China in retaliation for their country’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States. The two men were detained for more than 1,000 days.

In recent weeks, concerns over China’s interference in Canadian elections have dominated the country’s domestic politics and were a point of discussion between Biden and Trudeau.

Speaking to reporters later in the day, Biden called China the “opposition” and said his government had done to more to build global alliances than Beijing, amid concerns over renewed ties between Russia and China.

Newsletter

Related Articles

PanamaTimes
0:00
0:00
Close
El Salvador's Bitcoin Holdings Reach $350 Million
Teens Forming Friendships with AI Chatbots
WhatsApp Rolls Out Major Redesign
Neuralink's First Brain Implant Experiences Issue
Apple Unveils New iPad Pro with M4 Chip, Misleading AI Claims
OpenAI to Announce Google Search Competitor
Apple Apologizes for Controversial iPad Pro Ad Featuring Instrument Destruction
German politician of the AFD party, Marie-Thérèse Kaiser was just convicted & fined $6,000+
Changpeng Zhao Sentenced to Four Months in Jail
Biden Administration to Relax Marijuana Regulations
101-Year-Old Woman Mistaken for a Baby by American Airlines: Comical Mix-Up during Flight Check-in
King Charles and Camilla enjoying the Inuit voice singing performance in Canada.
New Study: Vaping May Lower Fertility in Women Trying to Get Pregnant
U.S. DOJ Seeks Three-Year Sentence for Binance Founder Changpeng Zhao
Headlines - Thursday, 23 April 2024
Illinois Woman Wins $45M Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson and Kenvue for Mesothelioma Linked to Baby Powder
Panama's lates news for Friday, April 19
Creative menu of a Pizza restaurant..
You can be a very successful player, but a player with character is another level!
Experience the Future of Dining: My Visit to an AI-Powered Burger Joint
Stabbing rampage terror attack in Sydney, at least four people killed, early reports that a baby was among those stabbed.
Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight. Israel Reports Light Damage After Iran Launches Large Strike.
I will never get enough of his videos and the pure joy and beauty of these women!!
Scientists at the University of Maryland have developed an "invisibility cloak", for AI using adversarial patterns on a sweater, making the wearer nearly undetectable to standard object detection methods.
Lamborghini Bids Farewell to Its Best-Selling Sports Car: The Huracán
Sam Bankman-Fried Appeals 25-Year Prison Sentence for $8bn FTX Fraud
OJ Simpson, ex-NFL star who was acquitted of murder, dies aged 76
British Backpacker Imprisoned in Notorious Bolivian Prison: Family Raises Funds for Legal Fight and Essentials
Argentina: Venezuela Cuts Power to Embassy after Opposition Meeting
El Salvador Offers 5,000 Passports to Skilled Foreign Workers: Tax-Free Relocation and Citizenship
Panama Papers Trial Begins: Founders of Mossack Fonseca Face Money-Laundering Charges
75 Becomes the New 65: Retiring in Your 60s Unrealistic as Life Expectancy Increases and Costs Rise
Total Solar Eclipse of 2021: 32 Million Witness the Mystical, $1.5bn Spectacle Sweep Across North America
New shopping experience…
New world, new reality, let’s get used to it
UK Company Passes Milestone in Developing Space-Based Solar Power, Aiming to Power a Million Homes and Provide Constant Energy
Mexico Breaks Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador after Police Storm Embassy, Arrest Former Vice President
Monty Python were so ahead of their time
If there's a will, there's a way!
Rules about how to dress are important, but not so much if you have a lot of money.
Body Armor Firm Showcases Stab-Proof Vest in Demo on CEO
Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Embassy Stormed in Quito
Here is a tattoo idea, for engineers
Zoraya Ter Beek, a 28-year-old woman from the Netherlands, will undergo euthanasia in May due to severe mental health challenges
Here's a video featuring Fidel Castro, where he discusses his stance against war and his commitment to preserving life, positions that have put him at odds with the USA:
Woman reaches behind and steals gun from a security guard and shoots three people while getting detained in Chile
Take a walk around the safe and thriving downtown San Salvador.
Joe Biden criticised by Trump campaign for declaring Transgender Day of Visibility on Easter Sunday
Macron says France will help Brazil develop nuclear-powered submarines
A video demonstrating women's self defense class in 1930
×