Premier in talks with PMO
After a second weekend surge of asylum seekers crossed into Manitoba on foot, Premier Brian Pallister told media Monday his office is in talks with the prime minister’s to determine safer solutions to border jumping.
“There has been a call to the prime minister on this issue... We’ve established an interdepartmental committee that is also investigating and researching ways to address this,” Pallister said.
The premier said his first concern is the security of Manitobans, particularly those who live in Emerson and have been conflicted over whether to open their doors to asylum seekers making the treacherous trek into Canada in the freezing cold.
Many lawyers and organizations, including Amnesty International and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, have called for the Safe Third Country Agreement to be scrapped or revised.
The agreement has a loophole allowing asylum seekers to claim refugee status in the second safe country they’ve arrived in — Canada — if they aren’t caught by border patrols before arriving.
NDP immigration critic Nahanni Fontaine has called on the provincial government to lobby Ottawa to suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement.
“Many refugees in the U.S. do not feel safe given some of the recent developments, in particular the executive bans that were signed and executed by President Trump,” Fontaine said.