Canada-U.S. deal on migration will limit safe options for asylum seekers: advocates

Deal limits asylum options

Immigration advocates say they are disappointed that Canada and the U.S. have agreed to restrict the flow of asylum seekers across their shared border.

The deal to be announced today is described in U.S. documents as a "supplement" to the 2004 treaty known as the Safe Third Country Agreement.

That treaty prevents asylum seekers from outside either country from crossing the Canada-U.S. border to make their claim — but until now, it only covered official points of entry.

As of Saturday, the treaty will apply all along the nearly 9,000-kilometre border, including at popular unofficial crossings like Roxham Road in Quebec.

Elora Mukherjee, director of the Immigrants' Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School, calls the new deal an "unfortunate development" for asylum seekers.

Canada has also agreed to welcome an additional 15,000 migrants this year from across the Western Hemisphere as part of the new agreement.

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