Under the Safe-Third Country (STCA) agreement, asylum seekers arriving in an official Canada-U.S.-U.S. crossing point, which goes both directions, is returned and invited to seek asylum in the first country they arrived in. WASHINGTON – A Canadian federal court ruled today that Canada`s “safe third country agreement” between the United States and Canada is contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because U.S. practices regarding the detention of asylum seekers and related rights violations are being followed. Canada has tried to stem the flow of asylum seekers who have flocked to the country since 2016, after Trump promised to take tough measures against illegal immigration. Agreement with El Salvador: The Salvadoran government has agreed to take in asylum seekers returned from the United States. Under the agreement, any asylum seeker who is not a national of El Salvador could be returned to El Salvador and forced to seek asylum there. Under the Third Country Security Agreement, in effect since December 2004, Canada and the United States declare the other country safe for refugees and close the door to most refugees at the U.S.-Canada border. Historically, two countries have negotiated “safe third country” agreements to better manage the influx of refugees and asylum applications at their borders. This agreement is signed to the extent that both countries can offer asylum to people in distress.
This is not the case with the Trump administration`s agreements with Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The United States and other countries that are parties to these agreements could violate the legal obligations imposed by domestic and international law. These include the U.S. Refugee Act of 1980 and the United Nations Convention on Refugees, which establishes the principle that refugees should not be forcibly returned to countries where they may be persecuted. A safe third country is a country in which a person crossing that country could have applied for refugee protection. In Canada, section 102, paragraph 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act sets out the criteria for designating a country as a safe third country. These agreements involve the obligation to develop the capacity of the asylum system in these countries, because El Salvador and Honduras (like Guatemala and Mexico) are unable to offer protection to groups seeking asylum in the United States – the majority of their citizens. The United States signed its first “safe third country” agreement with Canada.
Basically, if you go through the U.S. to claim asylum in Canada, or vice versa, you will go back because the U.S. and Canada are considered safe enough for asylum seekers and equipped to handle refugee and refugee claims fairly. McDonald suspended his decision for six months to give Parliament a chance to respond. The agreement is maintained during this period. Conventions on safe third-country nationals are not explicitly mentioned in the 1951 Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol on the Status of Refugees. Rather, their legitimacy derives from Article 31 of the 1951 Convention, which states that a refugee should not be punished for illegal entry into a country if he arrives directly from a country where he is threatened. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has itself warned against over-interpreting safe third country agreements, although it acknowledges that they may be acceptable in certain circumstances.  Such ambiguities have prompted some Canadian legal experts to question the legality of the Canada-U.S.
safe third country agreement.  McDonald gave the government until the end of January to prepare for the end of the agreement because it understood that it was in the public interest not to terminate the agreement immediately.