The U.S. is not a safe country
I am so pleased that as my country is taken down the right-wingnut road by “Canada’s Neo-Con Government,” there are still elements of sanity in the realm. Note this Globe and Mail article of Friday:
Citing the example of Maher Arar, a Federal Court judge ruled yesterday that Canada must reconsider a reciprocal refugee-processing agreement with the United States because Washington flouts conventions meant to safeguard immigrants against torture in their homelands.
Experts say the effect of the ruling may ultimately be that Canada will have to process thousands more refugee claimants each year, now that the continued existence of the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), passed in 2004, is in question.
Mr. Justice Michael Phelan wrote that the U.S. does not comply with international refugee conventions and that the Canadian government, in entering into the agreement, “acted unreasonably” in concluding that it did.
The STCA requires refugee claimants to seek protection in the first country they reach, and has allowed Canada to automatically send refugee claimants at the border back to the United States, from where they are usually detained or deported.
Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees, which mounted the legal challenge based on the argument that the U.S. is not a safe country for refugee claimants, said the court’s decision is significant.
“It is very good to see a court is taking seriously the human rights of refugees because there are times when we feel the rights of refugees don’t count for much around the world.”
Do you get what the judge said here? In short — the U.S. has a bad enough human rights record that Canada should not regard it as a “safe” country for refugees.
About time someone said it out loud.
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