The Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) is a treaty between the United States and Canada that was first signed in December 2002. Its purpose is to limit the number of asylum seekers who are able to make claims in both countries by requiring them to seek protection in the first country they reach.
The STCA was designed to ensure that asylum seekers are not able to “forum shop” by choosing to apply for asylum in the country with the most lenient system. This helps to prevent the abuse of asylum systems and ensures that refugees are protected according to international law.
The STCA applies only to asylum seekers who arrive at a land border crossing between the two countries. It does not apply to those who arrive by air or sea, or to those who are already in the United States or Canada.
The STCA remains a controversial issue. Critics argue that it violates the human rights of asylum seekers who are forced to return to the country they first entered, where they may not have access to adequate legal representation or the ability to file an appeal.
The STCA has been the subject of several legal challenges in both the United States and Canada. In July 2020, a Canadian federal court ruled that the STCA violates the country`s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and ordered the government to suspend it. However, the ruling was later overturned by an appeals court.
The STCA can be found online as a PDF document on the Canadian government`s official website. The text of the agreement outlines its purpose, scope, and requirements in detail.
In conclusion, the Safe Third Country Agreement is a treaty between the United States and Canada designed to limit the number of asylum seekers who are able to make claims in both countries. While it remains a controversial issue, the text of the agreement can be found online in a PDF format on the Canadian government`s official website.