Immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah told iPolitics that Canada has a role to play in assuring the safety of all migrants seeking protection by putting a temporary pause to the Safe Third Country agreement:
“I’m not sure it should be a permanent change given the climate … and the outroar happening in the States,” she said. “Canada is … the place where people come in times of need.”
Canada's government is getting calls from opposition MPs and experts to abandon the law in due to recent American zero-tolerance policy that has resulted in thousands of young children being separated from their parents at the U.S. - Mexico border. Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said, "all Canadians are troubled by the images coming out of the United States. The lives of children are very precious, and their security and well-being has to be foremost in our minds,” and says Canada will not get involved but will "monitor the situation south of the border."
The 2002 Safe Third Country agreement allows asylum seekers coming to Canada by land to be turned back to the United States without having their refugee claims filed in Canada. Thousands of asylum seekers avoid the terms of the agreement every year by choosing to cross the border at irregular sites like Roxham Road in Quebec and Emerson, Manitoba.
Watch: Immigration and Refugee Lawyer Evelyn Ackah Discusses Separation of Children from Parents at the U.S. Mexico Border.