U.S.-Canada Agreement on Refugees Is Now Unconstitutional

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Since President Donald Trump’s election there has been much discussion about the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement. Under this agreement, asylum seekers at land border crossings are turned back to the United States without having their refugee claims heard in Canada.

The 2002 agreement only applies at official land border crossings. Thousands of asylum seekers who are already in the United States circumvent the agreement by crossing the Canadian border at irregular sites, including Roxham Road in Québec. Politicians continue to debate how to best respond.

The Liberal government wants to renegotiate an expanded agreement — though recent events suggest international negotiations with the U.S. are fraught with difficulties. It’s also safe to assume Trump will not agree to expand an international treaty preventing asylum seekers from leaving the U.S. for Canada.

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The Conversation


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