The president, Joe Biden, and the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, confirmed this Friday an immigration agreement to return asylum seekers who are intercepted at the common border, after weeks of increased irregular crossings.
The agreement was announced as part of Biden's first official visit to Canada, where the two leaders discuss issues of common interest such as immigration, drug trafficking, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Haiti.
Biden and Trudeau confirmed the bilateral deal this Friday afternoon in a speech before the Canadian parliament, in Ottawa, and later during a joint press conference.
As part of the agreement that our sister network NBC News had already advanced on Thursday, it was reported that Canada will grant
15,000 places so that immigrants from Latin America and Europe
besieged by violence, organized crime and economic precariousness can enter the country legally.
In return, Washington will modify the Safe Third Country agreement that governs refugee claims between Canada and the United States, so that Ottawa can turn away irregular migrants.
At present, a legal loophole in the agreement prevents the expulsion of those who seek refuge in Canada.
In 2022 alone, around 40,000 people entered Canada through Roxham Road, a point on the border between the state of New York and the Canadian province of Quebec.
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The new policy will apply to people who are detained within 14 days of crossing the border between the two countries.
“There is nothing that is beyond our capabilities.
The United States and Canada can achieve great things.
We will write the future together, ”Biden told the Canadian Congress on Friday, after his meeting with Trudeau on Friday.
For his part, the Canadian president stressed that his country will continue to cooperate with the United States on border security, climate change and economic policy.
Trudeau had assured before Friday's meeting that his government was "very concerned" about the massive arrival of migrants and that he was working with his neighbor to modernize the agreement and "reduce these irregular crossings and promote legal immigration."
The United States and Canada signed the so-called Safe Third Country Agreement in 2002, which entered into force in 2004 and dictates that migrants "
must seek asylum in the first safe country they arrive
, unless they qualify for an exception."
The new agreement would update the previous understanding.
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Only in the last five months the crossings multiplied by 10
compared to the same period last year.
From the 1st
From October to February 28, about 2,000 migrants crossed the forests between Canada and the states of New Hampshire, Vermont and New York, compared with 200 crossings in the same period the previous year.
Most of them are Mexicans who do not require a visa to travel to Canada and then cross into the US.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Border Patrol is flying migrants it intercepts crossing from Canada to Texas to try to deter asylum seekers amid a surge in northern border crossings.
A united front against China and Russia
Another of the issues that Biden and Trudeau discussed in Ottawa was regional security and air defense (NORAD), which they have described as one of their top priorities after a Chinese spy balloon flew over last month. past North American airspace.
Canada plans to upgrade its radar system and has agreed to speed up the period in which it will channel more billions of dollars into military upgrades to NORAD, which monitors the skies over the region, according to a senior Canadian official.
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Canada announced last year that it would spend C$4.9 billion (US$3.8 billion) over the next six years to modernize NORAD's radar systems and billions more in later years, but David Cohen, the US ambassador in Canada, noted that the current context requires more expedited investment.
In addition, both leaders spoke about the importance of increasing the extraction of certain strategic minerals for the electric car industry and about economic and military cooperation to face China and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"The United States comes with big strategic issues in mind," said Vincent Rigby, Trudeau's former national security adviser.
“It is a world where they are looking for allies to help.”