by Morinville News Staff
Following the United States decision Monday to end the Temporary Protected Status program for nearly 200,000 Salvadorans, The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Shadow Minister for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, is calling on the federal government to close the loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement.
Under the agreement, between the United States and Canada, refugee status seekers must make their claim in the United States or Canada, whichever is the first country they land in unless they qualify for an exception.
The Trump Administration announced its plan to lift the Temporary Protected Status of more than 260,000 Salvadoran immigrants in the US since 2001 effective July 2019.
Rempel called on Prime Minister Trudeau Monday to stand up to President Donald Trump and protect Canada’s immigration system.
“Canada is an open and welcoming country. Canadians expect our immigration system to operate with strong processes in place that allow for intake in an orderly, planned, and safe manner, and that ensures successful integration into Canadian society,” Rempel said in a media statement.
“Unfortunately, the Trudeau government continues to abdicate responsibility in protecting the integrity of our immigration system. Not only have the Liberals failed to close the loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement, which incentivizes people to illegally cross Canada’s borders in order to claim asylum, but the Immigration and Refugee Board has processed only 5 per cent of the claims by those who crossed into Canada last year.”
Rempel says this has led to a ballooning in wait times for refugee hearings, a situation she believes will result in asylum seekers waiting years in Canada before they complete the asylum process.
The MP was also critical of the Liberal government’s deportations backlog of foreign nationals found to be inadmissible to Canada.
“The Liberal government has failed to take appropriate steps to manage illegal border crossings since the beginning,” Rempel said. “Neither the millions spent on winterized trailers to house asylum seekers, nor deploying Liberal backbench MPs South of the border are effective or long-term solutions.
Rempel went on to say that instead of turning a blind eye to Monday’s US announcement, Trudeau should be standing up to Trump and protecting Canada’s immigration system by closing the loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement.