Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada was seeking assurances from the United States will not deport asylum seekers turned away by Canadian border through a pandemic containment measures while.
As part of a temporary agreement to stop the spread of a new coronavirus crossing the common border, Canada last week agreed to return asylum seekers trying to enter overseas on official border point -a striking departure from former Canadian policy that allows them to live and file refugee claims.
A US Customs and Border Protection spokesman said the plan to send back migrants back to their home countries.
“CBP is taking steps to prevent the entry of more than 19 individual COVID that meeting,” spokesman Michael Niezgoda in an email.
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“In the case of an alien can not be returned to Mexico or Canada, CBP will work with partners to secure the shuttle back to the foreign country of origin and hold aliens for the shortest possible time.”
Niezgoda said border officials followed the advice of the Department of Health and Human Services.
“It is a problem that we are talking urgently with our American partners,” Freeland said during a press conference on Parliament Hill today.
“It is very important for Canada to comply with our international commitments … including when it comes to refugees.”
“We are aware of the problem refoulement,” Freeland said, referring to the forcible return of refugees to countries where they may face violence or abuse.
“And it was and continues to be important for Canada to have a guarantee that it will not happen to people who return to the United States.
Justin Mohammed, human rights law and policy activists in Amnesty International Canada, said the Canadian government needs to rethink the policy.
“At this moment, the situation facing refugee protection claimants seeking to enter Canada from the US is very clear. If the US plans to deport the claimant without consideration of their refugee claims, Canada could engage in refoulement,” he said
“By denying people the right to make a claim in Canada, the government has put us in breach of our international legal obligations.”
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When asked whether Canada would reconsider measure while in the light of the attitude of the United States, Freeland said he would not negotiate in public.
“But let me be clear about Canada’s position, which is important for us to comply with our international commitments when it comes to the treatment of refugees,” he said.
The issue of cross-border migrants is not only the federal government wants to settle with Washington now.
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