As the U.S.-Canada border prepares to close to all people except essential travellers, irregular migrants who try to cross the border will also be denied entry. (File photo)

Irregular migrants to be turned away at U.S.-Canada border: Trudeau

Comes amid border shutdown to curb COVID-19 sprea

As the U.S.-Canada border prepares to close to all people except essential travellers, irregular migrants who try to cross the border will also be denied entry.

In a daily briefing to reporters Friday, March 20, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the border will close at midnight Saturday.

“Canada and the United States are announcing a reciprocal arrangement that we will now be returning irregular migrants that attempt to cross anywhere at the Canada-U.S. border,” Trudeau said outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa.

Over the past few years, thousands of people have gotten around the Safe Third Country by crossing at informal points, specifically along Roxham Road in Quebec.

“We also have ensured we are comfortable with this process as being in line with Canada’s values on the treatment of refugees and vulnerable people,” he said.

In a statement, the Canadian Council for Refugees said it was stunned by Friday’s decision.

“During a pandemic, we must uphold our commitments to protecting the rights of refugees and vulnerable migrants. This includes our fundamental legal obligation to not turn refugees away at the borders,” said Janet Dench, the organization’s executive director, said in an email.

“We are shocked that the government of Canada is not prepared to live up to that commitment.”

Meanwhile, the Canadian American Business Council is working on ways to use existing “trusted traveller” programs to streamline the process of getting across the border for those who qualify.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says it is vital to the economic health of both countries that the flow of $2.7 billion worth of goods that cross the Canada-U.S. border each day be allowed to continue.

READ MORE: Canadian COVID-19 cases, by province


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

96 new cases of COVID-19 announced in Alberta

Thirteen people have now died in Alberta as a result of COVID-19

Rimbey RCMP respond to 29 calls for service

Public health emergency like we are experiencing can be an extremely stressful time

Rimbey Farmers’ Market facing uncertainty due to COVID-19

The market will celebrate 40 consecutive years once it gets up and running for the season

Alberta suspends environmental reporting requirements over COVID crisis

Alberta suspends environmental reporting requirements over COVID crisis

Internal audit of Scheer’s expenses turns up money on school, clothes, minivan

Internal audit of Scheer’s expenses turns up money on school, clothes, minivan

Alberta announces new COVID-19 rules for workers at long-term care centres

Alberta announces new COVID-19 rules for workers at long-term care centres

N.L. health minister urges safe use of dating apps during pandemic

N.L. health minister urges safe use of dating apps during pandemic

Staying home offers chance to declutter, but what to do when you can’t donate?

Staying home offers chance to declutter, but what to do when you can’t donate?

Trump says he expects Russia, Saudis to cut oil production

Trump says he expects Russia, Saudis to cut oil production

Morgan Rielly can’t explain talent-loaded Maple Leafs’ rollercoaster campaign

Morgan Rielly can’t explain talent-loaded Maple Leafs’ rollercoaster campaign

Most Read