Amnesty Intl urges Canada to act on U.S. 'return-to-Mexico' migration policy

The head of Amnesty International Canada is citing the new return-to-Mexico policy at the southern U.S. border to renew demands that Ottawa suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States.

Alex Neve is taking part in Amnesty's multinational human-rights assessment of the situation at the border, where U.S. authorities have begun sending migrants back to Mexico to await the outcome of their asylum claims.

Neve says the situation at the Mexican border holds lessons for the federal government in Ottawa, which has been dealing with a flood of irregular migration during the warmer months as asylum seekers trudge northward, bypassing official border crossings in order to claim refugee status in Canada.

Under the Safe Third Country Agreement, migrants who make an asylum claim at an official border crossing are returned to the U.S. on the grounds that they can apply for refugee status there.

Neve says the new southern border policy makes it clear the U.S. can no longer be considered a safe place to send asylum seekers.

He says ending the agreement would send a clear message to the White House that Canada doesn't support or condone the way migrants are being treated at the southern border.