Canada Can Welcome Salvadoran Refugees
Earlier this month, the United States government announced an end to the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of some 200,000 Salvadorans. Now, they’ll face deportation if they fail to leave the United States by September 2019. For most of them, returning to El Salvador is not an option due to the threats of violence throughout the region.
But due to something called Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), they also will not be able to claim refugee status in Canada. The STCA establishes the U.S. as a 'safe' country. This means that any refugees coming to Canada from the U.S., regardless of their country of origin, are not able to make a refugee claim at an official land border crossing.
Fortunately, pressure against the STCA has been mounting. In July 2017, Amnesty International, the Canadian Council for Refugees, and the Canadian Council of Churches joined in a legal challenge aimed at scrapping the policy altogether. They believe the United States is not a safe country for all refugees.
This is not just an issue for Salvadorans. Those from Sudan and Nicaragua have also recently had their status in the U.S. terminated. Within the next year, individuals from South Sudan, Honduras, Syria, Nepal, Somalia, and Yemen will also see their TPS expire.
If the STCA is not rescinded, it will mean hundreds of thousands of people will be sent back to dangerous situations. They deserve access to Canada's refugee system.
Last year, CPJ wrote to Minister Hussen asking that the STCA be rescinded. Use our letter to write to the Minister letting him know why you're concerned about the STCA.