Safe First Country Agreement

Under the Trump administration, the Department of Homeland Security has pressured the governments of Central American countries to sign agreements to prevent migrants from traveling north to the U.S.-Mexico border. Under the Safe Third Country Agreement, in force since December 2004, Canada and the United States declare that the other country is safe for refugees and close the door to most refugees at the U.S.-Canada border. Concerns were expressed about the lack of security legislation to protect refugees in the United States. These security concerns and arguments give refugees legitimate reasons to travel to Canada for a better life. On December 29, 2005, a group of refugee and human rights organizations (in both Canada and the United States) launched a legal challenge to the United States` claim as the third safe country for refugees seeking asylum. This legal challenge was supported by eminent personalities such as Justice Michael Phelan of the Federal Court of Canada on November 29, 2007, and many others. McDonald suspended its decision for six months to allow Parliament to respond. The agreement will remain in force during this period. The agreement helps both governments better manage access to the refugee system in each country for people crossing the U.S.-country border. The two countries signed the agreement on 5 December 2002 and entered into force on 29 December 2004. The Safe Third Country Agreement applies to refugee claimants who wish to enter Canada or the United States at land border crossings between Canada and the United States (including railways). It also applies at airports when a person seeking refugee protection in country B has been classified as a non-refugee in country A and is in transit through country A as part of his or her removal.

The United States has signed its first „safe third country“ agreement with Canada. Essentially, if you go through the U.S. to claim asylum in Canada, or vice versa, you will be rejected because the U.S. and Canada are considered safe enough for asylum seekers and are able to process asylum and refugee claims fairly. Supporters are now challenging these deals in U.S. courts, which have the power to determine whether the Trump administration`s actions are legal. Section 102 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) allows for the designation of safe third countries for the purpose of sharing responsibility for refugee claims. Only countries that respect human rights and offer asylum seekers a high level of protection can be designated as safe third countries. Ahmed Hussen, who was speaking for IRCC as a Canadian minister, said the conditions of the safe third country agreement remained met. Canada`s ruling Liberal Party has not communicated any plans or intentions to suspend the agreement. [21] Federal Judge Ann Marie McDonald found that the agreement violated a section of the Canadian Charter of Rights that states that laws or acts of state that infringe on liberty and security must be consistent with the principles of fundamental fairness.

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