The Supreme Court of Canada will hear a legal challenge to the Canada-US STCA asylum law today from activists.
The STCA is a joint government treaty that validates place of origin – either Canada or the US – as permanent legal location for asylum. The STCA in principle disallows the “shopping” of residence while managing the flow of asylum claimants at formal border waypoints. Record numbers of US asylum seekers in 2017 attempted relocation to Canada following the Trump presidency – with 23,358 intercepted cases this year alone.
Previous appeals in 2005 and 2021 to overturn the treaty have failed. Human rights groups uphold that the STCA fails to recognize the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms by sending asylum claimants back to USA – in turn sending them to dangerous conditions, detention camps or the likelihood of deportation.
The possibility that the Supreme Court will redact the STCA is unlikely given previous unsuccessful hearings and the complicated definition of what is considered a ‘safe country’. Further increases in asylum movements are likely at official ports of entry – with disproportionate entry at Canadian locations expected to intensify as national travel becomes available.
Joseph is a Current Developments Analyst with regional expertise in Northeast Asia. He focuses primarily on South Korean-Japanese geopolitics.