Ottawa/Toronto (Reuters) – a canadian court on Wednesday invalidated a bilateral Treaty, which obliges asylum-seekers trying to enter Canada at the us border, first to seek asylum in the United States, saying that U.S. immigration violates their human rights.
File photo: canadian border inspection station at the photos from the us side of the border in blaine, Washington, USA, on 23 March 2020. Reuters/Jason Redmond/file photo
Under the safe third country agreement (CTSA), of asylum seekers who arrive on the official Canada-U.S. border in either direction turned back and told to apply for asylum in the first country they arrived.
Lawyers for the refugees that were turned away at the canadian border challenged the agreement, saying the United States cannot be considered as a “safe” country under the leadership of President Donald trump.
Federal court judge Anne Marie MacDonald acknowledged that the contract was in violation of section of the Charter of rights of Canada that says, laws and government actions that interfere with life, liberty, and security must comply with the principles of fundamental justice.
McDonald’s has suspended its decision for six months to give Parliament an opportunity to respond. The agreement will remain in effect during this time.
Experts have already announced the suspension of the agreement will have huge implications for Canada-U.S. relations.
“We are aware of the decision of the Federal court and is currently pending,” said Mary-Liz power, the press Secretary of the Minister of public security bill Blair, who oversees the border Agency of Canada. “Safe third country agreement remains in force”.
The decision may be appealed to the Federal court of appeal and the Supreme court if necessary. Agency U.S. national security and the state did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Nedira of Abdi Jamal, among the refugees turned and on whose behalf the call was launched, described his time in solitary confinement in the U.S. as “the horror, isolate, and psychologically traumatic experience”, – stated in the decree of the court.
“Canada cannot ignore the consequences that befell Ms. Abdi in their efforts to adhere to the services. The evidence clearly shows that those returned to the United States, canadian officials detained as a penalty,” the judge wrote in his decision.
Abdi, an Ethiopian now in new York, told Reuters that she breathed a sigh of relief. “In the end, we are all people,” she said. “No one deserves to be mistreated that way.”
Amnesty international Canada, one of the groups that have begun legal action against services welcomed the “historic decision”.
IN AN EFFORT TO STEM THE TIDE
More than 50 000 people illegally crossed the Canada-U.S. border to apply for refugee status in the last four years, going through ditches and empty roads along the world’s longest unprotected border.
Canada aims to stem the flow of asylum seekers who flowed into the country, starting in 2016, after trump promised to crack down on illegal immigration.
Canada closed its border with the United States for non-essential travel because of the epidemic of the coronavirus.
In March, he said that it would no longer accept illegal migrants trying to cross the border and return them to the US authorities, who have stated that they will quickly deport them back to their homeland.
The canadian Association of refugee lawyers said that Canada needs to reconsider this decision, given the ruling on Wednesday, and to repeal rule 2019, which makes a man unfit to canadian asylum if they have already applied for asylum in the United States.
Reporting David continued concern and Steve Scherer in Ottawa and Moira Warburton in Toronto; editing by Jonathan Otis and Peter Cooney