OTTAWA, April 3: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reiterating the importance of an orderly immigration system as police investigate the deaths of eight migrants, including two toddlers, in the Mohawk territory of Akwesasne last week.
Last month, Canada negotiated a deal with the United States to turn away asylum seekers at unofficial border crossings like Roxham Road, closing a long-standing loophole in the Safe Third Country Agreement.
The deal means people will be turned away from the border no matter where they try to cross. The aim is for people to make their asylum claim in the first country they land in, whether it be Canada or the United States.
Migrant advocates warned the new rules would push people to take even greater risks in their efforts to cross the border, like using smugglers and moving to even more remote crossings.
The prime minister called the deaths a tragedy, but said Canada needs to maintain public confidence in the immigration system.
The government’s immigration plan says between 410,000 and 505,000 people will become permanent residents this year, which would be the highest number in recent history.