Last fall, three Canadian human rights groups filed a complaint against the government on behalf of four people, arguing that the Canadian government has no guarantee that immigrants who returned to the United States under the agreement will be safe because of the Trump administration`s treatment of refugees and immigrants. Under the special rules established by the United States and Canada to deal with the COVID 19 pandemic, most people who cross illegally in both directions are immediately returned to the other country. In a ruling released Wednesday, federal Judge Ann Marie McDonald ruled that elements of the law underlying the agreement violate Canada`s constitutional guarantees of life, liberty and security. The risks associated with detention and loss of personal security, facilitated by the STCA, are largely disproportionate to the administrative benefits of the STCA, which should assist Canada and the United States in sharing responsibility for refugees in a manner consistent with the Refugee Convention (CCR 2008, point 75). I think that the effects of not taking into account in the STCA are extremely disproportionate and are not in sync with the objective of the legislation… The sharing of responsibilities cannot be considered positive to incarceration or the harmful effects of cruel and unusual conditions of detention, isolation and the risk of refoulement. I think it is “totally outside the accepted norms in our free and democratic society” to find something else… Gross disproportion can be established on the basis of effects on a single person. I think the evidence… completed this test and is enough to “shock the conscience.” To circumvent the rule and ensure that their asylum claims are reviewed in Canada, tens of thousands of migrants arrived in the country through unofficial border crossings, such as on Roxham Road, an area on the New York-Quebec border. A former U.S.
Department of Homeland Security attaché in Ottawa, who was involved in the details of the implementation of the agreement, said the verdict was primarily critical of the Canadian government for sending asylum seekers in violation of the Canadian Charter. The groups applauded the court`s decision and called on the Canadian government to “immediately” stop sending asylum seekers to the United States. But if they apply for asylum on Canadian soil in a place other than an official crossing, it is permissible to move the process forward.