The deal was revealed to the Los Angeles Times by a source familiar with the matter, who said that it aims to “reduce incentives” for people to cross the border illegally. It will allow Canada and the U.S. to turn back illegal immigrants if caught within two weeks of crossing. The confidential deal is expected to take effect soon.
Though the deal was finalized during President Joe Biden’s trip to the country, it had reportedly been under discussion for years. New urgency was injected into the debate when recent months saw a sudden deluge of border crossings at the U.S. northern border.
In February, Swanton Sector Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia pleaded with Border Patrol units at the southern border to send volunteers north because the sector was experiencing a roughly 846% increase in crossings, compared with the year prior. Most of those were Mexican immigrants taking advantage of Canada’s asylum process.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has acknowledged the issue, telling the CBC in an interview last month, “I can assure you that in my conversations directly with President Biden, I have told him it is a priority for us.”
Attempting to stay in line with his liberal vision, Trudeau framed the issue as harming legal immigrants, who yearn for a “rules-based” immigration system, CTV reported.
In parallel to the Canada effort, the Biden administration is also planning a similar deal with Mexico, the Los Angeles Times reported.