US not 'safe' for refugees: Right Groups

Published: 05 Nov 2019   

Online Desk

The United States is unsafe for would-be refugees and a Canada-US agreement that compels asylum seekers to first apply for US sanctuary ought to be ripped up, lawyers for refugees and rights groups argued in a Canadian federal court on Monday.

Under the Safe Third Country Agreement, asylum seekers at a formal Canada-US border crossing travelling in either direction are turned back and told to apply for asylum in the country they first arrived in, reports Reuters.

Lawyers for unnamed refugees who had been turned away are challenging the agreement, saying the United States does not qualify as a “safe” country under President Donald Trump. Human rights groups, including Amnesty International and the Canadian Council for Refugees, have also joined the case, which could change the way the two countries cooperate on refugee issues.

More than 50,000 people have illegally crossed the Canada-US border to file refugee claims over the past three years, walking over ditches and on empty roads along the world’s longest undefended border. Some asylum seekers have told Reuters they might have stayed in the United States had it not been for Trump’s immigration rhetoric and policies.

Canada defends the agreement and wants to expand it. Since April 2018, it has been pushing to apply it to the entire border, in order to include people travelling outside of formal crossings.

On Monday, the plaintiff’s lawyers said Canada had failed to adequately review the United States’ status as a safe country.

Refugee lawyer Andrew Brouwer cited examples of asylum seekers being returned to the United States and subject to incarceration and solitary confinement for weeks, with little access to counsel.

Spokesmen for Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen did not return requests for comment on Monday. The hearing continues to Friday and the government is expected to mount its defence.


Read More

Democracy Index 2019: Bangladesh moves eight ranks higher

Democracy Index 2019: Bangladesh moves eight ranks higher

Bangladesh has been placed eight positions on the latest Democracy ...

AKASH DTH subscriber gets Tk one lakh cashback offer

AKASH DTH subscriber gets Tk one lakh cashback offer

AKASH DTH subscribers have received cashback offers for second week ...

‘BCL men’ beat 4 students at DU suspecting link to Shibir

‘BCL men’ beat 4 students at DU suspecting link to Shibir

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men have allegedly beaten up four ...

Publish advertisement for SK Sinha, 10 others: court

Publish advertisement for SK Sinha, 10 others: court

A Dhaka court has ordered authorities concerned to publish newspaper advertisement ...

US, Hong Kong confirm first cases of coronavirus

US, Hong Kong confirm first cases of coronavirus

A Washington state man who recently traveled to China and ...

3 workers electrocuted in Hazaribagh

3 workers electrocuted in Hazaribagh

Three workers were killed and one more was injured in ...

e-Passport to brighten Bangladesh image: PM Hasina

e-Passport to brighten Bangladesh image: PM Hasina

The introduction of e-Passport will brighten the image of Bangladesh ...

Ottis Gibson named Bangladesh fast-bowling coach

Ottis Gibson named Bangladesh fast-bowling coach

Bangladesh have appointed Ottis Gibson as their fast-bowling coach for ...