Biden And Trudeau To Meet In Ottawa As Migrants Surge At Northern Border

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Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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President Joe Biden is set to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday afternoon and Friday in Ottawa, where the two leaders will discuss some of the “biggest challenges” the neighboring countries face.

Biden and Trudeau will speak about increasing defense spending, clean energy, climate change, “inclusive economic growth,” Haiti and Ukraine, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday.

The president will also tout some of his administration’s accomplishments — including the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS and Science Act — and how they benefit Canada and the U.S., Kirby added.

The visit comes as Border Patrol has witnessed a roughly 846% increase in illegal immigrant encounters and apprehensions at the Swanton sector of the northern border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data. Illegal immigrants are being flown from the U.S.-Canada border to the U.S.-Mexico border, where they are expelled under Title 42, the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) reported. Each flight, funded by taxpayer dollars, costs between $150,000 and $200,000, and are not likely to continue.

A Tuesday flight from the northern border carried Mexican migrants who had crossed from Canada into the U.S., DCNF reported. Mexican nationals do not need a visa to cross into Canada.

A reporter pressed Kirby on whether Biden and Trudeau will be speaking about the Safe Third Party Agreement, which has a loophole that allows illegal immigrants to cross from the U.S. into Canada when there is no border station present.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 23: U.S. President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deliver opening statements via video link in the East Room of the White House February 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Pete Marovich-Pool/Getty Images)

Biden intends to speak with Trudeau about “migration,” Kirby said, but he did not go into detail on what specific topics the two leaders will cover.

“There are more people on the move in this hemisphere than there have been since World War II, and that affects both our countries,” Kirby said.

Roxham Road, a five-mile stretch of road through the woods between Canada and the U.S., does not have a border station, and has been a source of a record number of migrants coming across the northern border. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: ‘It Hasn’t Stopped’: The Northern Border Is Wide Open And People Are Funneling Across)

“It’s a crisis of very significant proportions and it’s a crisis of important proportions for us too in Canada with Roxham Road,” Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman told CBC.