Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says he’ll be discussing the growing issue of asylum seekers sneaking across the border with senior officials in the United States in the coming days.
Goodale, who oversees the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency, said the government is already in communication with some U.S. authorities about the impact unannounced asylum seekers are having on the Canadian refugee system.
“They need to be fully informed of the circumstances that Canada is dealing with for international reasons. But the very obvious one is that this flow is originating in their country and they need to be fully apprised of the consequences that we’re dealing with on our side of the border,” Goodale told CBC’s The House.
“We’re obviously explaining to them what we’re dealing with … and making that sure they understand what’s happening on their side of the border to fill in any information gaps,” he told host Chris Hall.
Safe Third Country agreement
What is unlikely to be raised in those talks, however, is the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the U.S. The agreement requires claimants, in most cases, to request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in.
The agreement applies to claimants who try to enter at official border crossings, prompting some critics to argue it is driving some people to put their health at risk by crossing at unauthorized entry points.
“The terms of the agreement are what they are,” Goodale said. “The fact of the matter is we have to deal with the real life circumstances that we are facing. We’ve also had confirmation from the UN High Commission for Refugees that they do not see a basis in the United States for any deviation from the agreement.”
On Thursday Prime…