US, Canada set to announce northern border deal during Biden visit
In exchange, Canada will also announce its intention to welcome an additional 15,000 Central American migrants over the next year through legal channels, the official said, citing the Los Angeles Declaration, which emphasized a regional response to unprecedented levels of migration.
News of the deal is a welcome headline for Trudeau and Biden. Just as the U.S. southern border remains a thorny political issue for Biden, the influx of migrants is also putting pressure on Canada.
“We are seeing an increase in irregular migration north to Canada, which reflects the regional and global migration challenges that we have been talking about,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Thursday. Air Force One, without confirming the reports of agreement. “We are committed to working with them to address this, including prioritizing orderly and safe migration through regular channels.”
The agreement is an overhaul of the Safe Third Country Agreement, a treaty signed by the United States and Canada in 2004 that requires asylum seekers to submit their claim in the first country in which they arrive. Under the agreement, asylum seekers can be returned to the United States if they cross an official border. Friday’s agreement will extend this to asylum seekers who cross the border illegally.
“This is something that is, as everyone knows, a deep, important and complex issue that involves vulnerable people,” Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday, hinting that a deal could be reached. “It involves sovereignty, it involves assuring our own citizens that we have a strong and effective immigration and asylum system.”
Friday’s announcement is in line with the Biden administration’s recent strategy to deter migrants from crossing the southern border. Border crossings have plummeted since Biden unveiled a plan earlier this year to accept 30,000 migrants a month from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela while cracking down on those not using legal channels plan.