What Is the Safe 3Rd Country Agreement

Agreements with Central American countries tactically move the U.S. border further south. In the past, two countries have negotiated agreements on “safe third countries” to better manage the flow of refugee and asylum claims at their borders. This agreement is signed on the assumption that both countries can offer asylum to people in need. This is not the case in the Trump administration`s agreements with Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The deal could be a violation of U.S. refugee protection laws. In addition, Guatemala cannot be considered a “safe third country” due to the lack of infrastructure to support a large number of refugees. The United States has confirmed its intention to send Mexican asylum seekers to Guatemala, despite the outgoing Guatemalan government`s refusal to agree to accept Mexican asylum seekers. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) requires the ongoing review of all countries designated as safe third countries. The objective of the review process is to ensure that the conditions that led to classification as a safe third country continue to be met.

Julie Taub, an immigration and refugee lawyer, says the Canada Border Services Agency has lost its capacity since the agreement was launched in late 2004 and would be “overwhelmed” if the agreement were repealed. [23] The agreements effectively block migrants` access to the U.S. asylum system, forcing them to seek protection in countries struggling with high rates of violence and poverty, lacking the institutions and infrastructure to help large numbers of refugees, and facing serious socio-political, economic, and environmental problems. In addition, many Honduran, Salvadoran and Guatemalan nationals are fleeing these conditions in their own countries and also hope to seek asylum in the United States. The CCR continues to urge the Canadian government to withdraw from the Safe Third Country Agreement. The CCR participated in a legal challenge to the classification of the United States as a safe third country shortly after it came into force. The Federal Court ruled that the United States is not a safe third country, but the decision was overturned on appeal for technical reasons (see here for more information). Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has publicly proclaimed his “moral responsibility to help refugees find refuge and restart their lives.

During the pandemic, Canada also recognized the public health threats posed by contracting COVID-19 in prisons and released a significant number of immigrant detainees from Canada`s detention system. The BBB contrasts with these values. As U.S. immigration reforms stagnate and the COVID-19 pandemic increases the risk of incarceration, this agreement risks permanently and permanently harming individuals. On the other hand, the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice) relied on factors such as that of Nedira Jemal Mustefa, one of those applicants in the ethiopian case and Ethiopian asylum seeker, to find that the STCA was unconstitutional. Mustefa described in detail what she called a “frightening, isolating and psychologically traumatic experience.” She described how she was placed in solitary confinement and then taken to an “icy” facility without blankets. She was fed pork, even though she was a Muslim, and was imprisoned with people convicted of criminal offences. Compliance with these obligations means that when partnering with countries under a “responsibility-sharing agreement”, both partners must fully assess whether a person may be at risk of persecution or torture before being returned to their country of origin.

The U.S. refugee determination system has shortcomings in this regard, which violate not only international law, but also, in the opinion of the Federal Court, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In November 2020, the Trump administration issued provisional final regulations to implement the agreements with Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Since then, the United States has deported Honduran and Salvadoran asylum seekers to Guatemala and returned at least 1,000 adults and children to the country. To date, the United States is the only designated safe third country. It is significant that the Trump administration has not called these agreements “safe third countries” “safe third countries” – a shameful recognition that these countries do not meet the implicit requirements of a safe third country. For example, most asylum seekers sent to Guatemala – including families with children – choose to return to their country, often risking their lives but acknowledging that seeking asylum in Guatemala is not safe. Agreement with Honduras: In a series of agreements with the Honduran government, the Trump administration has sought to curb migration from the region to the United States. In an agreement similar to those signed by the governments of Guatemala and El Salvador, the United States could return asylum seekers to Honduras if they cross the country without first seeking asylum.

The agreement helps both governments better manage access to the asylum system in each country for people crossing the Canada-U.S. land border. The two countries signed the agreement on 5 December 2002, which entered into force on 29 December 2004. In addition to meeting the exemption criteria under the agreement, asylum seekers must continue to meet all other eligibility criteria of the relevant immigration legislation for the country in which they are applying for status. While refugee claimants entering Canada at official border crossings are usually returned to the United States, they would not be returned if they were crossing at locations between designated ports of entry; In this case, their demands will be heard, and many immigration experts see this as a loophole in the deal. [6] [7] Section 102 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IPA) allows for the designation of safe third countries for the purposes of shared responsibility for refugee claims. .