The Trudeau government asked the Trump administration Friday not to deport illegal border crossers that Canada is blocking at its border.
Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada is seeking clarification of the U.S. government’s policy after a United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer said it would be deporting any illegal immigrants that Canada turns back a the border, CBC News reported.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to reverse his immigration policy as a result of enhanced border security to combat the coronavirus crisis. Whereas Canada had been allowing illegal border crossers to immediately apply for refugee status, last week the prime minister said Canada would send them back to the United States. (RELATED: Trudeau Sent 17 Tons Of Coronavirus Protective Supplies To China — Now Canada Is Running Low)
CBP said it intends to deport returned illegal migrants to their countries of origin.
“In the event an alien cannot be returned to Mexico or Canada, CBP will work with interagency partners to secure return to the alien’s country of origin and hold the alien for the shortest time possible,” CBP spokesman Michael Niezgoda told Reuters in an email.
“For those who remain in CBP custody, CBP will, to the extent possible, keep them separated. Symptomatic individuals will be referred to CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and placed in isolation.” (RELATED: Trudeau Has Not Taken Coronavirus Test: ‘I’m Feeling Good’)
Freeland said that policy would not be acceptable to Canada. “Let me be clear about Canada’s position, which is, it is important for us to abide by our international commitments when it comes to the treatment of refugees,” she said Thursday at an Ottawa news conference.
While Freeland disputes the immigration issue, Trudeau is debating with the United States over President Donald Trump’s decision to deploy American military personnel near the U.S.-Canada border.
But the prime minister offered little new information at this daily news conference in front of his Ottawa residence where Trudeau remains in self-isolation.
“When we have more information, we’ll share it,” he told reporters. “We continue to to engage closely in back-and-forths with the American administration on many, many issues around the border.”