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HomeNewsRoad closed: Biden and Trudeau’s perplexing deal on asylum seekers

Road closed: Biden and Trudeau’s perplexing deal on asylum seekers


Yesterday, President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a joint announcement on an issue that seemed small for such a high-profile matter: what to do about the renegotiation of an agreement between the two countries to return asylum seekers who crossed the border to seek asylum in one country versus another.

Asylum seekers could circumvent the earlier version by crossing outside official ports of entry, and some 39,000 immigrants did so last year, some of them arriving on buses paid for by New York City after initially arriving here.

This is not a sweeping change to border rules, but rather a slight adjustment to an agreement that has been in place for more than 20 years. However, if Washington is now going to close one of the existing options for US asylum seekers, it should explain why it is a good idea in a situation where there are close to two million active cases in our domestic immigration caseload, and after months of having taken a hands-off approach to resettlement of asylum seekers across the country.

It has fallen to states and towns like New York to try to accommodate arrivals with inadequate federal funding and almost non-existent assistance, but the feds apparently have time to announce misguided restrictive border policies adjoining Trump and renegotiate with Canada to prevent migrants from getting a chance. to seek asylum there instead.

Ultimately, the number of asylum seekers transiting the US into Canada, often via Roxham Road near Champlain in the north of the state, is minuscule compared to the much larger number of asylum seekers U.S. asylum The closing at midnight last night of the Roxham Road bypass will change little about the broader picture of immigrant arrivals.

However, it demonstrates the somewhat bewildering priorities of the Biden administration here. Both the US and Canada should instead commit to expanding their international refugee resettlement programs to provide would-be asylum seekers with more orderly routes to humanitarian migration, avoiding the often dangerous treks altogether.

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