Trudeau to Press Biden on New York-Quebec Border as Migrants Flow In

Trudeau to Press Biden on New York-Quebec Border as Migrants Flow In


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he and Joe Biden will discuss stemming the flow of irregular migration into Canada when the US President visits Ottawa next month.

Trudeau has been under pressure over the increasing number of asylum seekers entering from the US at a border crossing not far from Champlain, New York. It’s about 40 miles south of Montreal.  

Quebec Premier Francois Legault has said his province doesn’t have the capacity to handle the influx of migrants right now, and wrote a letter to Trudeau asking him to  press the issue with Biden. There were nearly 5,000 asylum claims in Quebec in January, according to federal data — far more than any other Canadian province.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 24: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Joe Biden and Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz pose for a G7 leaders' family photo during a NATO summit on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels, on March 24, 2022 in Brussels, Belgium. Heads of State and Government take part in the North Atlantic Council (NAC) Summit. They will discuss the consequences of President Putin's invasion of Ukraine and the role of China in the crisis. Then decide on the next steps to strengthen NATO's deterrence and defence. (Photo by Henry Nicholls - Pool/Getty Images)

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Trudeau said he has already raised the matter in direct conversations with Biden, and the president “understands that it is a priority for Canada.”

“This will be a conversation that we will continue to have with the US administration, including during the visit later next month,” Trudeau said in French. Canada and the US have not yet confirmed dates for the visit.

Migration Loophole

The New York-Quebec crossing, known as Roxham Road, is used because it exploits a loophole in a Canada-US pact called the Safe Third Country Agreement. Under this deal, refugees must claim asylum in the first country they enter, and will be turned back at a Canada-US border station if they try to cross there. But since Roxham Road is not an official land port of entry, refugees are able to cross over and then claim asylum within Canada.

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Header featured image (edited) credit:  Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, U.S. President Joe Biden/ (Photo by Henry Nicholls – Pool/Getty Images)© Photographer: Pool/Getty Images Europe

Emphasis added by (TLB) editors



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