Canada is ready to absorb some Central American migrants to assist the US, which is grappling with an inflow of migrants at its southern border with Mexico, Canadian Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino mentioned.
Of their first telephone name since President Joe Biden’s administration was sworn in, Mendicino and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Safety Alejandro Mayorkas final week mentioned points together with Central American migration – an space the place the Biden administration is struggling to achieve management.
Canada needs to assist, Mendicino instructed Reuters in an interview late Tuesday.
“I actually assume that we now have the capability inside our present ranges plan to accommodate extra refugees,” he mentioned.
Canada goals to resettle 36,000 refugees for 2021.
Whereas Mendicino wouldn’t rule out accepting migrants in U.S. custody, his spokesperson mentioned this was unlikely as Canada resettles refugees referred by the United Nations Excessive Commissioner for Refugees. Mendicino wouldn’t say what number of migrants Canada may take.
The U.S. Division of Homeland Safety didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Canada’s supply to assist comes because the variety of migrants taken into custody on the U.S.-Mexico border has soared in latest months to the very best ranges in twenty years.
Vice President Kamala Harris, tasked with addressing Central American migration, was in Mexico and Guatemala this week to pursue options to the state of affairs.
Mendicino mentioned he and Mayorkas mentioned “the street map to a renewed Canada-U.S. relationship,” managing their shared border and reaching migration objectives.
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Canada has styled itself as a frontrunner in refugee resettlement, even because it turns again asylum-seekers at its personal border. Final yr it took in about 40% of the entire variety of resettled refugees globally, or about 9,000.
“By having a plan as formidable as we do round this, what we’re signaling not solely to the Americas however the world, is, Canada will proceed to play a management function in the case of resettling refugees,” Mendicino added.
In its 2021 finances, Canada allotted C$80.three million ($66.6 million) over two years to the Venezuelan migrant and refugee disaster.
Canada additionally needs to develop the Secure Third Nation Settlement (SCTA), beneath which asylum-seekers making an attempt to cross at ports of entry are turned again, in order that it applies to the whole Canada-U.S. border.
This is able to have an effect on individuals who cross irregularly, resembling at Quebec’s Roxham Street, a standard vacation spot for asylum-seekers avoiding the STCA.
“There was actually a really robust sense between our two international locations that this can be a very worthwhile instrument, it’s a very worthwhile settlement, as a result of it does create the chance for added cooperation,” Mendicino mentioned.
(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny; Extra reporting by Ted Hesson; Modifying by Karishma Singh)