Replying to Sputnik's request, spokesperson for the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRC) Canada Nancy Caron revealed that Canada and the US are closely engaged in working on the "challenges with the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA)." The spokesperson noted that regarding any changes to the agreement, the two countries are not in any formal negotiations.
She also added during the last month, a significant number of Nigerian nationals with valid US visas have been crossing the Canadian border, seeking asylum. The IRC believes their visas were obtained specifically to be used as a means to reach Canada. According to the spokesperson, their US counterparts have been notified of the Canadian concerns.
In response, the IRC noted that the government is committed to ensuring the safety of Canadians and the protection of the country's borders, but it still intends to respect and its fulfill international obligations.
The Safe Third Country Agreement between the US and Canada, adopted in 2002, states that persons seeking refugee status must make their claim in the first country they arrive in. The agreement has forced many asylum seekers to seek alternative, illegal ways to cross the border, leading to deaths and severe traumas in 2017.
According to a report by Reuters, roughly 26,000 people have illegally crossed the US-Canada border over the last 15 months. The media outlet pointed out that many have fled to Canada due to Trump's immigration policies and aggressive anti-immigrant rhetoric.