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Available Expert - Queen's University immigration expert appears in court as Federal government examines Safe Third Country Agreement

Monday, November 4, 2019

Queen’s University immigration expert Sharry Aiken is available to comment on the court case happening in Toronto starting today examining the Safe Third Country Agreement. Under the international Agreement between Canada and the United States, refugee claimants are required to request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in. The Agreement came into effect on December 29, 2004.

Refugee advocates and lawyers are taking the federal government to court to argue that Canada should allow asylum claimants to seek protection at all official land border crossings because they say the United States is no longer a safe country for refugees.

Professor Aiken is the Co-Chair of the Canadian Council for Refugees Safe Third Country Agreement Litigation Committee and will be in court during the proceedings. She will argue the Agreement is both unlawful and unconstitutional.

“The evidence to be presented in this case, including arbitrary detention, child separation and the failure to recognize gender-based persecution, clearly establishes that the United States is not living up to its obligations under the Refugee Convention,” Professor Aiken says. “I am hoping the Federal Court will require the government to revisit its continued reliance on the agreement. However, regardless of the outcome in Court, in my view the Safe Third Country Agreement is not only bad law - it is bad policy. It has incentivized irregular migration outside of normal ports of entry - creating significant burdens for Canadian border officials and local communities."

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

Follow Queen’s News and Media Services on Twitter: http://twitter.com/QueensuMedia.

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