Amnesty International wants Canada to suspend refugee agreement with U.S.

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WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked in March 2019 about the ongoing talks with the U.S. to amend the Safe Third Country Agreement – Mar 21, 2019

Amnesty International is calling on the Canadian government to suspend its Safe Third Country agreement with the United States in light of a controversial new refugee policy implemented this week by the Trump administration.

The group says the policy no longer guarantees asylum seekers the same legal rights as those offered in Canada and could see some migrants sent back to countries where they face risks of violence and persecution.

READ MORE: Less than 900 ‘irregular’ asylum seekers removed from Canada since 2017 surge

Under the Safe Third Country agreement, asylum seekers arriving in Canada from the U.S. must file a refugee claim in America as it is considered safe.

But refugee agencies worry those migrants could now be at risk of deportation after the Trump administration said anyone arriving at the southern border cannot file for refugee protection if they failed to file a protection claim while moving through another country.

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The move would disqualify thousands of migrants who have travelled through Central America and Mexico.

READ MORE: Trump to end asylum protections for migrants passing through other countries

A spokesperson for Border Security Minister Bill Blair says Canada still deems the U.S. a safe country governed by the rule of law, but adds that American rules and policies are always being reviewed.

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