Canada deems U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers, despite Trump’s crackdown

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Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains a safe country for asylum seekers, despite the Trump administration’s crackdown on what it terms illegal aliens.

Documents obtained by The Canadian Press under access-to-information law show Canada was concerned about the changes in U.S. immigration policy and conducted a review of its Safe Third Country agreement with the U.S. from January to March of 2017.

READ MORE: Reality check — is Canada facing an asylum seeker ‘crisis?’

The review came after U.S. President Donald Trump issued a number of executive orders on immigration, including one aimed at beefing up border security to “end the abuse of parole and asylum provisions” that delay and complicate the removal of undocumented migrants to the U.S.

Canada’s analyses of these U.S. policies were redacted from the documents. However, the overall conclusion reached by Canadian officials was that the United States “continues to meet the requirements for designation as a safe third country.”

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The Safe Third Country agreement between Canada and the U.S. is based on the core principle that people seeking refugee protection must file their claim in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they qualify for one of a few exceptions.

The other core tenet is that Canada considers the United States a safe country for refugees. So, if an asylum seeker comes to Canada at an official border crossing from the U.S. and tries to claim refugee protection, they will be refused entry and encouraged to make their claim in the U.S. – the “safe country” from which they just came.

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