Under the agreement, refugee claimants must apply for refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they are entitled to a waiver from the agreement. Subsequently, the number of refugees arriving at the border decreased. In addition, under “temporary agreements” between the United States and Canada, refugee claimants entering official country ports, aviation and seaports should be returned to the United States. Meanwhile, the Safe Third Country Agreement remains in force, while the federal government is appealing the Federal Court of Justice`s decision, although Amnesty International and others have called for the agreement to be suspended immediately. At the recent hearing before Stratas J., counsel for this group argued that the government`s assertion that there would be an “increase” in new asylum seekers at the border if the agreement was struck down was “speculative” and “hypothetical”. The government appealed McDonald`s decision and argued that there would be “irreparable harm” to the rule of law and the common good if the border agreement were overturned. Last July, the Federal Court of Justice declared the STCA unconstitutional because it violated “the right to life, liberty and security of the person” as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The case was filed by Amnesty International, the Canadian Refugee Council and the Canadian Council of Churches on behalf of several complainants. The judge`s decision upheld the argument made for years by human rights and refugee advocates that the United States, especially under the Trump administration, is not a safe place for refugees. The debate on the third-country security agreement has for some time become a lightning rod for racist and xenophobic rhetoric. The former Federal Conservative immigration critic urged the Liberal government to close the “gap” and extend the pact across the border. “People who come from a safe country and do not directly flee persecution should not be able to ignore our laws and enter Canada illegally,” Rempel wrote.
“If they do, they should be overwhelmed.” McDonald suspended his decision for six months to give Parliament a chance to respond. The agreement is maintained during this period. The Canadian Refugee Council strongly opposes this agreement because the United States is not a safe country for all refugees. The CCR also denounces the objective and impact of reducing the number of refugees who can seek refuge in Canada. Nevertheless, the Trudeau government has decided to appeal the decision to maintain an untenable agreement, at a time when the Trump administration`s racist and nativist policies make this all the more dangerous and illustrate the contradictions of refugee and immigration policy in Canada.