Canada Prepared to Accept Central American Refugees From U.S.-Mexico Border

Mendicino Says Canada May Step In To Help U.S. With Border Crisis

As the U.S. experiences a massive influx of migrants attempting to enter the country through the Mexican border, Canada is prepared to step in and take in some of these asylum seekers for resettlement. This was revealed in statements made by Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino during a recent interview.

“I certainly think that we have the capacity within our existing levels plan to accommodate more refugees,” Mendicino told Reuters.

Mendicino did not say how many refugees Canada would accept.

Mendicino’s comments were made after a phone call with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. One of the main points of discussion was Central American migration.

While the U.S-Mexico border has long been a destination for Central American refugees seeking a better life by entering the United States, the number of migrants attempting to cross the border has significantly surged in recent months. In fact, according to Reuters, the number of Central American asylum seekers taken into custody by border officials is the highest it’s been in 20 years.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris was in Mexico and Guatemala this week to explore potential solutions.

While Mendicino stated that Canada would be willing and able to step in and help the U.S. with refugee resettlement, his spokesperson clarified that   would be unlikely. They reasoned that Canada typically only resettles refugees referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

During their call, Mendicino and Mayorkas also discussed “the road map to a renewed Canada-U.S. relationship,” and how to manage their shared border and similar immigration goals.

This could include expanding the Safe Third Country Agreement (SCTA).The STCA is an agreement between the U.S. and Canada that designates both countries as “safe countries” for refugees. Under the agreement, asylum seekers must file a refugee claim in the first “safe country” they enter. For instance, if they enter Canada through the U.S. to file a refugee claim, they will not be accepted and must return to the U.S. to file their claim there. However, there are some exemptions to the agreement.

“There was certainly a very strong sense between our two countries that this is a very valuable instrument, it is a very valuable agreement, because it does create the opportunity for additional cooperation,” said Mendicino.

It will be interesting to see what kinds of changes to the agreement will be implemented.