Please use this template to send a letter by email to your Member of Parliament, with a copy to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and to OCASI.
For more information about the Safe Third Country Agreement, please scroll down for useful links at the end.
You can find your Member of Parliament and your Riding by entering your postal code here.
Please CC the email to:
Dear [MP NAME],
Re: Act today! Suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement
My name is [NAME] and I live in [Riding name].
I am writing to ask that you urge the Canadian government to immediately suspend (and eventually withdraw from) the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement so that asylum-seekers are not turned back at the Canada-US border.
The Safe Third Country Agreement prevents asylum-seekers travelling from the US from claiming refugee status in Canada, unless they qualify for the limited exceptions under the agreement.
I am deeply concerned that:
- Refugees are risking their lives and safety and crossing the border on foot sometimes through difficult terrain, to avoid official immigrant entry points and being sent back to the US because of the Safe Third Country Agreement.
- The US is not a safe country for refugees, particularly now given the escalation of anti-refugee and immigrant sentiment, and growing Islamophobia, racism and xenophobia, and the potential deportation of those seeking refuge. As a new report from Harvard University Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program has concluded, there could be grave potential consequences from recent US Executive Orders on immigration, including: the large-scale detention of asylum seekers, the removal of refugees without due process, the empowering of local officials to detain individuals on suspicion of immigration violations, discrimination based on asylum seekers’ religion and nationality, among other deeply troubling outcomes.
- A recent research report by students from 22 Canadian law schools concludes that Canada’s continued participation in the Safe Third Country Agreement violates our international obligation. It found inequalities in the asylum systems in Canada and US dating back to the beginning of the Agreement.
As your constituent, please notify as soon as possible of the steps you, your office and the Canadian government are taking to protect the rights of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
[Your Address with postal code]
Hon. Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants
Read more here about the Safe Third Country Agreement and its impact on refugees.
Refugee claimants need safe access at U.S.-Canada border: ColeAn inhumane deal between our countries is pushing asylum seekers to risk their lives for a hearing
Desmond Cole Toronto Star March 16, 2017
BORDER CROSSERS: Advocates concerned about unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Canada
The Canadian Press in Chronicle Herald Published March 16, 2017
Near-fatal border crossing in Quebec prompts calls for immigration reform
Asylum seeker's dangerous trek held up as example of shortcomings of Safe Third Country Agreement By Jonathan Montpetit, CBC News Posted: Mar 14, 2017
The safe third country pact imperils lives—just like a border wall
Marcello Di Cintio has seen border-hoppers risking their lives in desolate country before—in the deserts north of Mexico
Marcello Di Cintio March 13, 2017 Macleans.Ca