Jul 22, 2020

By Bob Komsic

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Banning would-be refugee claimants from trying to enter either Canada or the U.S. at official border crossings is unconstitutional.
That’s a Federal Court of Canada justice’s ruling regarding the so-called ‘Safe Third Country Agreement.’
Justice Ann Marie McDonald is critical of Washington’s treatment of asylum seekers and admonished Canadian officials for their complicity.
”It is my conclusion, based upon the evidence, that ineligible STCA claimants are returned to the U.S. by Canadian officials where they are immediately and automatically imprisoned by U.S. authorities.  This is sufficient to establish … liberty rights are engaged,” McDonald wrote in her 62-page decision.
”The actions of Canadian officials in returning ineligible STCA claimants to U.S. officials facilitates a process that results in detention.”
Justice McDonald says in her ruling that not only are the would-be refugees’ liberty rights infringed, their right to personal security is also threatened.
The judge has given Ottawa six months to respond and fix the policy before declaring it invalid.    
The Safe Third Country Agreement prevents a migrant arriving from the U.S. at an official border crossing from seeking asylum, and vice versa.  
Under the agreement, claimants must submit their asylum claim in the country where they first arrive.
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