What Is A Safe Third Country Agreement

The United States and other countries party to these agreements may violate legal obligations under domestic and international law. These include the U.S. Refugee Act of 1980 and the United Nations Refugee Convention, which establishes the principle that refugees should not be forcibly returned to countries where they could be persecuted. Agreements with Central American countries tactically move the U.S. border further south. The Trump administration has made several threats against countries and forced them to sign these agreements. Guatemala signed an agreement on “safe third countries” after the government threatened it with tariffs, a travel ban and a tax on remittances. Before the start of the “Stay in Mexico” program, the government threatened to impose tariffs on all Mexican products. Due to COVID-19, the United States has temporarily suspended the deportation of non-Guatemalan asylum seekers to Guatemala as part of its “Safe Third Country Agreement” with the country, which was reached after reports emerged that the United States deported dozens of infected migrants to Guatemala.

The United States continues to regularly make deportation flights to Guatemala. Ahmed Hussen, speaking as Canada`s minister at IRCC, said the terms of the Safe Third Country Agreement remained respected. The ruling Liberal Party of Canada has not communicated any plan or intention to suspend the agreement. [21] “Stay in Mexico” policy: Instead of a safe third country agreement with Mexico, the Trump administration has been implementing its “stay in Mexico” policy since January 2019. This policy requires Central Americans seeking asylum to return to Mexico indefinitely while their claims are processed. The “Stay in Mexico” policy is a clear violation of both United States. and international law, but the Supreme Court has allowed it to continue as long as its validity is challenged in court. Although the United States has not signed an explicit agreement with Mexico, DHS has confirmed that Mexican asylum seekers will also be included in those affected by agreements with other countries.

Under the U.S. Refugee Act of 1980, these agreements are not considered treaties, so they can be concluded without congressional approval. Asylum seekers can only be deported to countries where their lives are not threatened and where they have full access to fair asylum procedures. Safe third country agreements have been created to share responsibility for assisting asylum seekers and ensuring that they are safe and protected from the harm they flee. .