In a recent ruling the Canadian Federal Court declared that they would be ending a joint refugee agreement with the U.S. This new ruling will go into effect in Ottawa in six months, giving the government time to prepare.
Canada and the U.S. both took part in an agreement made in 2004 called The Safe Third Country Agreement. This agreement made it possible for the Canadian border to turn refugees back if they came from the U.S., so that they could work on gaining refugee status in the U.S.
Since this agreement, many people have fought against these procedures as they experience unfair and cruel treatment at the hands of U.S. border officers and laws. They have also claimed that the U.S. is not truly a safe country for refugees as they are often persecuted and treated unethically.
Several refugees as well as the Canadian Refugee Board and Amnesty International took to court to challenge this agreement. They argued that turning refugees back at the border puts them in position to experience persecution as well as detention or prison time.
The claimants shared stories of their own struggles after being turned away at the border and how the U.S. did not work to meet their needs as refugees, and if anything worked against them in a way that violated their rights.
The court decided that they would break this agreement, and beginning within six months, would no longer turn away refugees coming in from the U.S. This decision will hopefully open up many more opportunities for refugee claimants looking for a new and secure life.
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