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

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at Abbotsford border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

UFV to launch Peace and Reconciliation Centre in Abbotsford

Online event on Sept. 24 features keynote speaker Bob Rae and Steven Point

UFV wrestler Jason Bains receives four-year suspension for using banned substance

Surrey native tests positive for oral steroid Turinabol, silver national medal removed for violation

Fraser Valley foursome to hike 70km over mountains in memory of friend

Friends from Abbotsford and Langley to hike from Hope to Tulameen for Brook Morrison

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mother-daughter charged in 2017 torched-SUV killing in South Surrey now allowed contact

Judge grants Manjit Kaur Deo permission to connect with Inderdeep Kaur Deo through a lawyer

Most Read