Bill Blair asked to lead talks on Safe Third Coun­try Agree­ment with the U.S.

The Western Star - - CANADA -

OT­TAWA — Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau has as­signed sweep­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to Bill Blair, the new min­is­ter in charge of bor­der se­cu­rity and or­ga­nized crime, task­ing him with lead­ing the file on ir­reg­u­lar mi­gra­tion and ex­am­in­ing whether Canada should ban hand­guns and as­sault weapons.

In a freshly minted man­date let­ter made pub­lic Tuesday, the prime min­is­ter asks Blair to lead con­ver­sa­tions with the United States on the Safe Third Coun­try Agree­ment, work­ing closely with For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Chrys­tia Free­land and Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Ahmed Hussen.

The agree­ment stip­u­lates that asy­lum seek­ers are re­quired to make their refugee claims in the first “safe’’ coun­try in which they ar­rive — mean­ing those who come into Canada at an of­fi­cial land bor­der cross­ing are sent back to make their claim in the U.S.

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