New US-Canada Border Deal
A new US-Canada border deal has recently taken effect with the aim to halt the flow of asylum seekers at unofficial border crossings. The agreement has closed a loophole that previously allowed migrants to claim asylum at such unofficial ports of entry. Under the new accord, migrants caught crossing anywhere along the 3,145-mile (5,060-km) border can now be sent back. This comes at a time when there has been a rise in migrant crossings into Canada from the US side.
The new deal extends the Safe Third Country Act (STCA) along the entire border, including internal waterways. The original 2004 agreement required migrants to make an asylum claim in the first “safe” country they reach, whether it is the US or Canada. The STCA allowed either nation to turn migrants away at official points of entry, but not at unofficial crossing points like Roxham Road.
Record Numbers of Migrants
A record number of migrants, around 40,000, crossed into Canada last year, with the majority of them entering through Roxham Road. The new deal is part of efforts to limit an influx of migrants at Roxham Road, an unofficial crossing between New York state and the province of Quebec.
Criticism and Concerns
The new deal has been criticized by refugee advocates as being ineffective at ending the irregular crossing of migrants into Canada. There are concerns that it could incentivize human smuggling.
Biden’s Visit to Canada
While in Canada, President Joe Biden spoke of the importance of the deep economic ties and the defense alliances between the two nations, as well as their joint support for Ukraine. The two leaders pledged to stand together against authoritarian regimes. They also discussed reducing dependence on China for semiconductors and the critical minerals needed to make batteries and electric cars.
The ongoing instability in Haiti was also discussed, where the economy is in crisis and gang violence and kidnappings have risen sharply. The US has pushed Canada to lead an international force to support security forces in the Caribbean country.
Global Coalition on the Opioid Crisis
The two countries announced that they will lead a new “global coalition” on the opioid crisis. It will look to tackle the issue of drug trafficking not only in North America but across the world.
Category: International / World Current Affairs