The Trump administration is methodically reducing the U.S. asylum system to reduce immigration to the United States. One of the most devastating changes introduced by the government is the negotiation of agreements with Central American countries that require asylum seekers transiting through a country to seek refuge there first. Recently, a number of events have made the environment in Canada more sensitive to such an agreement. After 9/11, the sensitivity to terror and security increased. The general public has somehow associated immigration and refugees with terrorism and increasingly supports the idea of a “fortress of North America.” In addition, the number of asylum seekers in Canada has increased in recent years to 44,718 in 2001. While the number of refugees has declined significantly in recent months (according to initial estimates, there will be about 31,000 applications in 2002), government officials are concerned that the refugee deterrence system, which has the means to process some 30,000 applications per year, will not be able to cope with the number of new arrivals if arrivals are not reduced. So far, the United States is the only third-country country classified as a safe third country. THE STCA is a policy that Canada and the United States implemented in 2004 to regulate the mobility of refugees between the two countries. As part of the agreement, Canada and the United States consider each other safe for refugee claimants. The STCA applies to all applicants who wish to travel to land or train crossing points, as well as to persons transiting through a Canadian airport who have been deported from the United States as a result of an aborted refugee application. The government has repeatedly stated that it is negotiating with the United States to “modernize” the safe third country agreement, but has never explained what this means and whether any changes to the agreement would prevent people from filing asylum claims after crossing the border between official ports of entry.
The agreement on the security of third-country nationals: an innovative solution or a proven problem? Under the Third Country Security Agreement, in effect since December 2004, Canada and the United States declare the other country safe for refugees and close the door to most refugees at the U.S.-Canada border. Stratas` decision does not refer to the original decision of the Federal Court of Justice that the border agreement is unconstitutional. However, it allows the government to wait for the outcome of its appeal before deciding what to do at the border. Agreement with Honduras: In a series of agreements with the Honduran government, the Trump administration has sought to reduce migration from the region to the United States. In an agreement similar to that of the Guatemalan and Salvadoran governments, the United States could return asylum seekers to Honduras if they cross the country without seeking asylum beforehand. Agreement with El Salvador: The Salvadoran government has agreed to take in asylum seekers returned from the United States. Under the agreement, any asylum seeker who is not a national of El Salvador could be returned to El Salvador and forced to seek asylum there. The Trump administration has repeatedly threatened countries and led them to sign these agreements.
Guatemala signed an agreement on a “safe third country” after the government threatened it with tariffs, travel bans and transfer taxes. Prior to the launch of the Remain in Mexico program, the government threatened to impose tariffs on all Mexican products. Since 1989, Canadian law has made the denial of asylum seekers because of “safe third country” reasons, but the provision has never been invoked.