President Trump’s executive order limiting travel and immigration from certain countries is encouraging “more asylum-seekers” entering the U.S. through Canada, rather than going through ports of entry, such as the U.S.-Mexico border.
Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen announced that the Trump administration has modified the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, or Covid-19. As part of the overhaul, asylum-seekers who enter the U.S. from Canada in the future will be considered at the American border to receive refugee protection, Hussen said.
“The immigration and refugee system is designed to protect those who have fled persecution in their countries, and it does so by ensuring that people make a claim for protection in a place where they face the greatest risk,” Hussen said in a statement. “Under the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, [Canadian border authorities] process claims if they arrive first at a designated processing point in Canada or enter the country from the U.S. through a port of entry. We have long maintained that this approach disproportionately impacts vulnerable groups, such as women with newborns and unaccompanied minors, women fleeing sexual violence, and people with cultural, religious or linguistic barriers.”
The Covid-19 agreement restricts asylum-seekers to requesting protection at a port of entry and then staying there for the period of 45 days the agreement restricts after seeking refugee status, according to Hussen. As a result, the vast majority of refugees seeking protection stay in Canada and file their claims there, according to Hussen.
The change in asylum-seeker policy is slated to come into effect sometime this summer.
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