The United States and Canada are announcing coordinated efforts to incentivize the use of lawful migration processes and to counter irregular migration. The United States and Canada are expanding the 2002 U.S.-Canada Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) to apply to migrants who claim asylum or other protection after crossing the border between land ports of entry, with limited exceptions. The STCA has applied since 2004, requiring asylum claimants who arrive at land ports of entry to make their claim of asylum in the first country in which they arrive. The Additional Protocol being announced today expands the STCA to arrivals between ports of entry, ensuring a consistent immigration policy across the entire U.S.-Canada border, to be applied at as well as in between ports of entry. The changes will come into effect at 12:01 AM ET on Saturday, March 25, 2023.
Canada has also announced that it will take significant steps to expand safe and orderly pathways for migrants from the Western Hemisphere to enter Canada lawfully. Building on prior commitments, Canada will:
- Provide an additional 15,000 migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean with access to legal pathways to Canada; and
- Enter into arrangements with the United States and like-minded countries to promote lawful labor mobility pathways.
“Today’s coordinated actions with the Government of Canada will protect the integrity of the asylum process, discourage dangerous crossings between ports of entry, and encourage lawful pathways for migration,” said U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Today marks an important milestone in fulfilling the bold vision for the Western Hemisphere laid out in the 2022 Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection and the 2021 Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership.”
The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice posted a joint rule for public inspection to amend their regulations to implement the Additional Protocol on Friday, March 24, 2023. This joint final rule may be found on www.federalregister.gov and is effective as of 12:01 AM ET on Saturday, March 25, 2023.