University of Saskatchewan law students join in stand against U.S. travel ban
University of Saskatchewan (U of S) law students are uniting with their peers across the country in something called a “research-a-thon.” It’s aimed at taking a stand against the Canada-United States Safe Third Country Agreement.
The agreement is a part of the U.S.-Canada Smart Border Action plan and requires refugees to request protection in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they’ve qualified for an exception. The pact came into effect in December 2004.
The nationwide research-a-thon was organized by students at McGill law school in coordination with the Canadian Council for Refugees. Various research topics were divide up across the country in relation to the agreement. At the end of the day, all of the research will be turned over to the council.
“This is something that our organization has always been oppose to because we think it puts refugees at risk. That risk is even greater now because of the changes in the United States,” Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees, said on Saturday.
Dench expressed her concern that Canada’s words and actions aren’t lining up when it comes to welcoming refugees with open arms.
“We think Canada shouldn’t be sending refugees back to the U.S. in this state of uncertainly because if we send someone back and they end up being sent back to persecution then Canada also bares a share of the responsibility,” Dench explained.
More than 700 students nationwide mobilized and Saskatoon organizers said simultaneous events took place in 21 of 22 law schools.
“It’s the first time in law school history that we’ve had a project this big that’s united almost every one of the law schools in Canada,” U of S research-a-thon organizer Danielle Yuzdepski said on Saturday.
The group is also raising funds for any future litigation.
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