Canada's refugee road
The #Roxham Road connecting #Quebec and Plattsburg, New York, has become a reliable one for asylum seekers making their way to #Canada. However, the increase in asylum seekers makes it difficult for them to attain safe and peaceful lives.
Estimates indicate that more than 60,000 #asylumseekers have entered Canada since 2017. Done via some irregular routes from the US, this entry of asylum seekers into Canada is attributed to what experts call a ‘loophole’ in a treaty between #USA and Canada. The Safe Third Country Agreement (2004) specifies that any asylum seeker in either country must seek refugee protection in whichever country they first arrive and will be turned away from ports of entry to the other nation. This led to many asylum seekers taking longer and riskier routes to Canada.
However, this agreement does not consider the irregular crossings along Roxham Road, which has emerged as a famous crossing point for asylum seekers. This increase has prompted the Quebec authorities to ask the Canadian government to shut the road down.
Traditionally, Canada has advocated for immigration, facilitating the entry of asylum seekers. However, a study conducted in 2020 ascertained that many Canadians, unlike citizens of other countries, believe the immigrants to be crucial to their economy and not necessarily threatening, as had been the case in many other countries, especially since the pandemic.
Quebec’s claim that they lack the resources to handle the increasing number of asylum seekers caused the authorities to be against the Roxham Road situation. The refugee advocates disagree.
The Trudeau administration is reportedly seeking a new version of the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States, which is expected to close the existing ‘loophole’ and stop the irregular migration along the USA-Canada border.
Professionals believe that closing the Roxham Road can have a detrimental effect as asylum seekers may then be compelled to seek more dangerous routes to reach Canada or increase smuggling.