The Canada-US Border

Approaches to Managing Irregular Crossings


  • Alexa Kirkey Carleton University



Borders, Irregular immigration, Asylum seekers, United States, Safe Third Country Agreement


The Canada-US border has seen a significant spike in irregular crossings from the US into Canada since 2016. As tens of thousands of migrants have crossed into Canada outside official entry points, Canadian officials have had to grapple with how to manage these irregular asylum claims that have put enormous strain on the Canadian immigration system. In response, the Canadian government has developed an approach that sees officials conduct comprehensive security screenings to process these claims. However, the existence of the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) between Canada and the US has also created a challenge in dealing with this issue. In response, three approaches have emerged. The first involves completely eliminating the STCA. The second would see serious restriction of asylum claims and patrolling of borders, while the third would seek to maintain the status quo. However, the ideal solution is likely one that finds a middle ground, expediting the processing while also closing loopholes in the agreement.






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