Under the agreement, refugee claimants must apply for refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they are entitled to a waiver from the agreement. The Trump administration has repeatedly threatened countries and led them to sign these agreements. Guatemala signed an agreement on a “safe third country” after the government threatened it with tariffs, travel bans and transfer taxes. Prior to the launch of the Remain in Mexico program, the government threatened to impose tariffs on all Mexican products. The United States signed its first “safe third country” agreement with Canada. Basically, if you go through the U.S. to claim asylum in Canada, or vice versa, you will go back because the U.S. and Canada are considered safe enough for asylum seekers and equipped to handle refugee and refugee claims fairly. McDonald gave the government until the end of January to prepare for the break of the agreement because it understood that it was in the public interest not to terminate the agreement immediately. Section 102 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) authorizes the designation of safe third countries for the purposes of co-responsibility for refugee applications. Only countries that respect human rights and offer a high level of protection to asylum seekers can be designated as safe third countries. Experts said the suspension of the agreement would have a huge impact on Canada-U.S. The relationship.
A safe third country is a country in which a person crossing that country could have applied for refugee protection. In Canada, section 102, paragraph 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act sets out the criteria for designating a country as a safe third country. The government said the abolition of the agreement would result in an “inflow” of asylum seekers at the border, making it more difficult for several levels of government to maintain the existing refugee system, including the provision of housing and other social services. Under the Safe-Third Country (STCA) agreement, asylum seekers arriving in an official Canada-U.S.-U.S. crossing point, which goes both directions, is returned and invited to seek asylum in the first country they arrived in. On January 30, 2017, critic Jenny Kwan of the New Democratic Party (PND) of IMMIGRATION, refugees and citizens of Canada (IRCC) proposed an emergency debate on “President Trump`s immigration and travel ban from seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa.”  During the debate, the NDP called on the government to immediately suspend the agreement on the security of third-country nationals, citing the fact that “Canada can no longer trust that the U.S. refugee system provides refuge for those at risk of persecution.”  The official Conservative Party of Canada has stated that it will not oppose the suspension of the agreement, while the Green Party of Canada has expressed support for the suspension of the agreement.  Historically, two countries have negotiated “safe third country” agreements to better manage the influx of refugees and asylum applications at their borders. This agreement is signed to the extent that both countries can offer asylum to people in distress. This is not the case with the Trump administration`s agreements with Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. As a result of COVID-19, the United States temporarily halted the deportation of non-Guatemalan asylum seekers to Guatemala as part of its Safe Third Land Agreement with the country This judgment came after reports revealed that the United States was deporting dozens of infected migrants to Guatemala. The United States continues its scheduled deportation flights to Guatemala.
The RAC continues to call on the Canadian government to withdraw from the safe third country agreement. Shortly after its entry into force, the CCR participated in legal action against the designation of the United States as a safe third country. The Federal Court of Justice ruled that the United States is not a safe third country, but the decision was overturned on appeal for technical reasons (for more information, click here).