US and Canada reach a deal on decades-old asylum agreement

President Joe Biden arrives to deliver remarks at UNLV on March 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

CNN — The US and Canada have struck a deal on changes to a decades-old asylum agreement that would restrict certain migrants from seeking protections in Canada, two Canadian officials told CNN, marking a significant change in how Canada accepts asylum seekers.

While discussions have been ongoing for years, the sharp increase of people crossing into Canada from the US – some of whom are believed to have initially crossed the US southern border – had recently placed added urgency on talks.

US President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are expected to announce the modifications to the agreement before Biden concludes his visit and travels back to the US, according to one Canadian official.

Ahead of Biden’s visit to Canada, Trudeau faced blowback domestically over hundreds of migrants crossing Roxham Road, a remote street that connects Champlain, New York, with Hemmingford, Quebec.

The so-called Safe Third Country Agreement, signed in 2002, applies to individuals who have transited through a country where they could’ve made an asylum claim because it’s deemed safe, as the name of the agreement implies. It’s in effect at ports of entry, and individuals entering at a land port of entry may be ineligible to make a claim and be returned to the US.

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About Joel Cholo Brooks 14504 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.
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