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

Updated: Trailer stolen near Rossland recovered, motorbike still missing

A black Nissan Pathfinder was reported to be seen hitching up the trailer on July 10 at 6:45 p.m.

Elderly Trail man detained for vehicle ‘mischief’

Police called to report of mischief to vehicle parked in West Trail

Rossland city council votes against giving tax exemption to The Josie Hotel

Council said it would be unfair to give exemption to one business and not another

Selkirk Paving donates to KBRH

The $1M ED Campaign at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital is underway

Kootenay angler’s program off to a great start

“I’d like to see the fishery come back to its glory,” says firsttime winner Dave Johnston.

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

NDP wants Lower Mainland MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

B.C. health officials pleased with likely extension of Canada-U.S. border closure

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the situation is ‘very serious in the United States’

Children suffer swollen eyes, burns while playing at Lower Mainland spray park

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Most Read