A judge in Canada has struck down the Safe Third Country Agreement, stating that the agreement between Canada and the United States violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and puts refugees at risk.
The Safe Third Country Agreement, which was signed in 2002, requires asylum seekers who arrive in Canada from the United States to seek protection in the first country they arrive in. This means that if an asylum seeker arrives in the United States first, they cannot then cross the border into Canada and claim refugee status.
The agreement was designed to discourage “asylum shopping,” or the practice of seeking protection in multiple countries to increase the chances of being granted refugee status. However, critics argue that the agreement is unfair to refugees because it assumes that the United States is a safe country for them.
The judge’s ruling is a significant victory for refugee rights advocates in Canada, who have long argued that the agreement violates Canadian law and puts refugees at risk. The ruling means that asylum seekers will now be able to make their claims in Canada, even if they have already sought protection in the United States.
The decision is also likely to have broader implications for Canada’s relationship with the United States, particularly in the wake of President Trump’s recent executive orders on immigration. The orders have sparked widespread protests and legal challenges, and many are concerned that they could lead to a crackdown on refugees and immigrants in the United States.
Overall, the judge’s decision to strike down the Safe Third Country Agreement is a significant victory for refugee rights in Canada. It sends a clear message that Canada is committed to protecting the rights of refugees, even in the face of pressure from the United States.