President Joe Biden this Friday announced an agreement with Canada to illegal migration at the common borderon his first visit to his northern neighbor meant to mark the newfound friendship between the two countries.
“The United States and Canada will work together to deter illegal border crossings,” Biden said during a speech at parliament in Ottawa.
Biden also hailed the Canada’s commitment to welcome 15,000 migrants from the Americas.
In the background of this understanding, there is the number of “Roxham”, an irregular passage through which some 40,000 immigrants came to Quebec from the United States last yearthus avoiding the official access points.
The closure worries migrant support NGOs. “The impact on refugees in extreme danger is devastating. The result will be to push people to undertake even more dangerous journeys in isolated areas” or push them towards people smugglers, Julia Sande, of Amnesty International, lamented AFP.
These arrivals heated up the political climate in Canada, a country where this problem is relatively new, and caused some tension with Washington.
In the White House they say they understand the Canadian concerns, but point out that the issue is also current in the United States, in very different proportions.
In January, US authorities made more than 128,000 arrests for attempting to illegally enter the national territory from Mexico, and the Republican right seizes every opportunity to accuse Biden of laxity in the face of the immigration phenomenon.
Pre-meeting reports indicated that, in exchange for the closure of Roxham Road, Ottawa would agree to accept some 15,000 asylum seekers from Latin America through legal channels, as had just been announced. The move would ease pressure on the U.S. southern border.
Biden was applauded in the legislature, especially then He praised the two countries’ commitment to supporting Ukraine in its war with Russia.
The United States and Canada are “two peoples” who share “the same heart” and “in case of disagreement” solve their problems “with friendship and benevolence”.
The relationship between Washington and Ottawa is infinitely more cordial than during Republican Donald Trump’s presidency, but there are some sticking points.
aid for Haiti
Another topic of conversation was Haiti, a country ravaged by extreme gang violence and a serious humanitarian crisis.
A Canadian government source told AFP an announcement is expected on Friday “significant funding” related to humanitarian aid and training for Haitian security forces.
Washington would welcome Canada if it played a leading role in sending an international force to the Caribbean country.
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