The STCA is a policy that came into effect in 2004 by Canada and the United States to regulate the mobility of refugees between the two countries. Under the agreement, Canada and the United States consider each other safe for refugee claimants. The CASS applies to all refugee claimants wishing to enter land borders or by train, as well as those travelling through a Canadian airport who have been deported from the United States following an aborted refugee claim. Refugee lawyers in Canada are seeking the suspension or cancellation of the STCA because they fear that the United States is no longer safe for refugees. They argue that the U.S. government`s recent immigration and refugee restraining orders are reason enough to point out that the country could be dangerous to refugees. An implementing regulation (which many critics considered a travel ban) suspended all refugee applications for 120 days. The government said repealing the agreement would result in an “influx” of asylum seekers at the border, making it more difficult for different levels of government to maintain the existing refugee system, including the provision of housing and other social services. According to the signatories, the STCA was created to preserve the integrity and effectiveness of the asylum and refugee system in Canada and the United States.
The government says the agreement ensures predictability and stricter control of asylum cases. The idea is that it would be difficult to resolve border crossing cases if asylum seekers do not follow the right channels to make their claims. The government is the holiday that illegal immigration can penalize immigrants and refugees who go through the legal and sometimes laborious process of determining refugees. For all other countries that could be designated as safe third countries in the future, if Mexico signs a safe third country agreement, Central American migrants would no longer be able to cross the U.S.-Mexico border to surrender to U.S. authorities and stay in the country pending asylum proceedings. Section 102 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) allows for the designation of safe third countries for the purpose of sharing responsibility for refugee claims. Only countries that respect human rights and offer asylum seekers a high level of protection can be designated as safe third countries. The agreement, which allows any country to reject asylum seekers who attempt to file refugee claims at official crossing points, was declared unconstitutional in July by the Federal Court.
At the last hearing before Stratas Justice, lawyers for this group argued that the government`s claim that there would be an “increase” in new asylum seekers at the border if the deal was cancelled was “speculative” and “hypothetical”. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) requires the ongoing review of all countries designated as safe third countries. The review procedure aims to ensure that the conditions that led to expulsion as a safe third country remain met. The United States is the only country to have classified Canada as a safe third country. Both governments are confident that the other can make fair decisions on every refugee claim received. As a result, refugees seeking asylum in the United States cannot do so in Canada (and vice versa), except in certain cases.  To date, the United States is the only safe third country. In addition to the exemption criteria provided for in the agreement, refugee claimants must continue to meet all other admission criteria of the relevant immigration legislation for the country in which they are applying for status. While refugee claimants entering Canada at official crossing points are generally returned to the United States, they are not returned when crossing at locations between designated ports of entry. In this case, their claims are heard and many immigration experts consider this to be a gap in the agreement.   Concern has been expressed about the lack of security legislation to protect refugees in the United States.
. . .