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Canada Throws out Long Standing Asylum Agreement with the United States

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On Wednesday, a Canadian court has eliminating a long-standing asylum deal with the United States. The Safe Third Country Agreement which went into effect in 2004 allowed Canada and the Untied States to turn back asylum seekers attempting to enter the other country at official crossings. The original agreement existed as it recognized both countries as a safe place to seek refuge.

Canada has now thrown out the agreement as the judge believes that turning asylum seekers back to the United States violates the asylum seeker’s rights by exposing them to likely detention and possible removal on the U.S. side. The judge said the treaty violated the rights to “life, liberty and security of the person” guaranteed by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, part of Canada’s constitution. She suspended the ruling for six months to give Parliament time to respond.

The U.S. asylum program has undergone many changes since 2016, including eliminating domestic violence victim’s eligibility to apply for asylum, proposal to charge a fee for previously free asylum applications, eliminating the 30 day guarantee for asylum work permit applications, with the most recent proposal allowing border officials to deny asylum claims from applicants from widespread communicable disease. For more information, please click here.

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