Yves-François Blanchet, the leader of the Bloc Québécois, has repeated his request for the closure of the Roxham Road border crossing between Canada and the United States to relieve the pressure on public services in Quebec. The border crossing has become a major entry point for asylum-seekers, with over 39,000 crossing into Quebec outside official ports of entry in 2022.
The government of Quebec has already taken steps to tackle the issue by moving some asylum-seekers to other provinces. However, officials want to take a step further and close the Roxham Road crossing, and the Safe Third Country Agreement loophole.
Blanchet argued that closing the crossing would alleviate the burden on Quebec’s public services, which have struggled to cope with the entry of asylum-seekers. Meanwhile, not everyone sees this as a way out, and some feel that tackling the underlying causes of migration would be more effective.
The issue will be discussed when President Joe Biden meets with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau later this month. Trudeau has stated his desire to update the Safe Third Country Agreement, which permits asylum-seekers to cross the border between ports of entry.
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