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U.S. not 'safe' for asylum seekers: advocates

Posted on Jan 30, 2017 by in Scarborough | 0 comments

OTTAWA — Immigration and refugee advocates say Canada should invoke its right to suspend its refugee protection agreement with the United States in the wake of a decision there to put all refugee admissions on hold and restrict immigration from seven specific countries.

It’s one of several policy options being suggested by groups after nearly 72 hours of chaos resulting from U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order issued Friday.

Mitch Goldberg of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers says Canada should suspend the safe third country agreement with the U.S. because it’s clear that country is not longer a safe place for people to seek asylum.

The deal dates back to 2002 and means that non-U.S. citizens in the U.S. cannot show up at Canada’s land border and make a claim for protection, as they should have been able to receive that in America.

Amnesty International says in light of the way the Trump administration is proceeding, it would be “unconscionable, immoral and unlawful” to pretend the U.S. is a partner in refugee protection.

Advocates also want Canada to step in and fill the void in refugee resettlement left by the U.S. decision to bar Syrian refugees and suspend the admission of those from other countries.

By The Canadian Press

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