US, Canada reach agreement to restrict asylum-seekers

FILE – In this Aug. 7, 2017 file photo, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer informs a migrant couple of the location of a legal border station, shortly before they illegally crossed from Champlain, N.Y., to Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec, using Roxham Road. In the first nine months of 2022, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada finalized more than 2,700 claims by Mexican asylum seekers. Of those, 1,032 were accepted, 1,256 were rejected; and the remaining 400-plus were either abandoned, withdrawn, or had other outcomes, said Christian Tessier, an IRB spokesperson. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

The United States and Canada have reached an agreement that would allow America’s northern neighbor to turn away asylum-seekers attempting to cross the U.S.-Canada border at unofficial points of entry, according to media reports.

The deal, which is expected to be announced at the end of President Biden’s visit to Ottawa on Friday, will reportedly expand a decades-old treaty between the two countries known as the Safe Third Country Agreement, CNN reported.

The Safe Third Country Agreement requires that asylum-seekers request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in. As a result, migrants attempting to enter Canada from the U.S. at official ports of entry would be turned away.

However, the treaty did not previously include asylum-seekers who crossed at unofficial points of entry, such as Roxham Road, a popular unofficial crossing in New York, according to The New York Times.

The new deal set to be announced by Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would allow Canada to turn away such asylum-seekers. 

As part of the agreement, Canada has also reportedly agreed to create a program that would allow 15,000 migrants fleeing violence, persecution and economic hardship in South and Central America to seek asylum in Canada, the Times reported. 

Tags asylum seekers Canada Joe Biden Justin Trudeau Justin Trudeau Northern border President Biden

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