TAK­ING A CHANCE AT THE BOR­DER

The Hamilton Spectator - - FINDING HOME -

Asy­lum seek­ers who ar­rive first in the U.S. but then want to make their refugee claim in Canada can face a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion. Those who show up at an of­fi­cial bor­der cross­ing, such as the Peace Bridge, but don’t meet one of the ex­cep­tions to the agree­ment will be im­me­di­ately re­turned to the U.S. Back in the U.S., they can be de­tained and sub­ject to de­por­ta­tion. Of­fi­cials at Vive say it’s now cus­tom­ary for sin­gle males and the male heads of fam­i­lies to be de­tained at the fed­eral de­ten­tion fa­cil­ity in Batavia, N.Y. if they are re­turned from the bor­der cross­ing at the Peace Bridge. Women and chil­dren are fre­quently dropped off by U.S. bor­der of­fi­cials at the Vive cen­tre and the women are fit­ted with a GPS-track­ing an­kle mon­i­tor. What’s worse, those who are turned away at a bor­der cross­ing be­cause they don’t meet one of the ex­cep­tions can never make an­other refugee claim in Canada and they are barred from re­turn­ing to Canada with­out au­tho­riza­tion for one year. Those who are found in­el­i­gi­ble at the bor­der for other rea­sons, such as a pre­vi­ous failed claim or in­ad­mis­si­bil­ity be­cause of se­ri­ous crim­i­nal is­sues, can face im­me­di­ate de­por­ta­tion to their coun­try of ori­gin and could be held in im­mi­gra­tion de­ten­tion. Asy­lum seek­ers who get past the first step at the bor­der then have to show through their claim that they face per­se­cu­tion in their coun­try of ori­gin. Those who have their claim de­nied fol­low­ing a hear­ing will then face de­por­ta­tion to their coun­try of ori­gin, not the U.S.

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