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Oh, So That's How the US and Canada Are Going to Deal With New Asylum Seekers

AP Photo/Christian Chavez

The crisis at the southern border has been ongoing for years. It’s an issue that pre-dates the Trump administration. You could arguably say that it’s been a thorn in the US’s side for over a generation. Multiple presidencies have tried and failed to enact meaningful immigration reform, and now that legislative goal has become something of a unicorn on the Hill. For now, the GOP wants a border wall and to return power to immigration officials to enforce existing laws regarding migrants crossing illegally.


On the other side, Democrats won’t budge on anything relating to the border unless there’s mass amnesty and a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens. No comprehensive immigration package will be agreed to unless congressional Democrats give the illegals their lofty care package. So, this issue lingers, and both Democrats and Republicans are also dealing with intra-party drama over the subject. But in the meantime, the United States and Canada have agreed to a new asylum policy for migrants (via NYT): 

The United States and Canada have reached an agreement that will allow both countries to turn away asylum seekers at their borders at a time when migration has surged across the hemisphere, a U.S. official familiar with the agreement said Thursday. 

The deal, which is set to be announced Friday by President Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after the two leaders meet in Ottawa, will allow Canada to turn back immigrants at Roxham Road, a popular crossing point from New York for migrants seeking asylum in Canada. 

In exchange, Canada has agreed to provide a new, legal refugee program for 15,000 migrants who are fleeing violence, persecution and economic devastation in South and Central America, the official said, lessening the pressure of illegal crossings into the United States from Mexico. 

Mr. Biden was due to arrive in Ottawa on Thursday evening for a 24-hour visit meant to underscore the unity of purpose between the United States and Canada after four years of frosty and even openly hostile exchanges between Mr. Trudeau and former President Donald J. Trump. 


The agreement removes one of the relatively few disputes between Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Biden ahead of the president’s arrival. The two leaders are also expected to discuss differences over how to stabilize Haiti, and the global race to develop critical minerals needed to make batteries and other technology. 

But the accord is likely to further anger advocates for refugees, who are already frustrated with Mr. Biden’s decision to crack down on asylum seekers at the southern border with Mexico. 


As Katie wrote, Biden opted to go to Canada instead of East Palestine, Ohio, the site of the recent toxic train crash that no one in this administration seems to care about. While this new agreement is one of the better initiatives from the Biden White House, maybe he can squeeze in some time to visit these people whose drinking water’s safety remains dubious. The real kicker here is that a new asylum agreement wasn’t necessary if Biden had left the border alone. The Trump administration was getting it under control, and then Biden decided to open the floodgates, creating a humanitarian crisis


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