Minister Blair reinforces mutual cooperation on border issues during trip to U.S

From: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

March 17, 2019 – Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, concluded his trip to the United States. Minister Blair spoke with members of Congress and government officials about issues of border security, including the shared goal of modernizing the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA).

While in New York City, Minister Blair met with Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and Jerry Nadler, and senior officials in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration to discuss opportunities for joint collaboration to address irregular migration. The Minister also met with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, which included a tour of John F. Kennedy International Airport, where many of the irregular asylum claimants who have travelled to Canada have initially landed upon reaching North America.

Canada and the United States have the most open, secure and efficient border in the world. They benefit from a long history of mutual cooperation on issues related to border integrity. Minister Blair saw how the two countries continue to cooperatively address the challenges of global migration through information sharing and technological opportunities.

Similar to his trip to Washington the week before, these meetings provided Minister Blair with an opportunity to discuss STCA modernization to the mutual benefit of both countries.

The Minister thanked American authorities for their collaboration to date, including reducing abuse of U.S. visas for the purpose of claiming asylum and data analysis efforts. This is directly reflected in the decreased number of irregular crossings. He also noted he looks forward to discussing options to modernize the STCA.

“Collaboration with our American partners continues to be crucial as we work on issues pertaining to our shared border, including irregular migration. Canada appreciates the continued partnership of our American neighbours as we work to enhance the STCA to our mutual benefit.”

– The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction

Quick facts

  • In 2018, 19,419 asylum seekers were intercepted between ports of entry by the RCMP, the majority near the Quebec-New York border.

  • Between January 1, 2019, and March 1, 2019, there have been 1,696 irregular border crossers intercepted by the RCMP.

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