Law professors call for suspension of the Safe Third Country Agreement

Over 200 law professors across the country — including 32 Osgoode faculty members — have signed an open letter to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, calling for an immediate suspension of the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the US, pending a review of the agreement. The letter is in response to Executive Orders issue by US President Donald Trump (as well as some of the President’s statements) that the signatories say are inconsistent with international law, in addition to reflecting bigotry, xenophobia and nativist fear-mongering.

The letter was spearheaded by Osgoode Professor Sean Rehaag, along with four colleagues, Sharryn Aiken (Queen’s), Audrey Macklin (U of T), Donald Galloway (UVic) and Efrat Arbel (UBC), all of whom are experts in Canadian immigration and refugee law.

According to Professor Rehaag, “This is a key moment in Canadian refugee policy. The Prime Minister — very much to his credit — has highlighted that Canada remains open to refugees, regardless of their religion, despite contrary policy shifts in the US. This letter demonstrates a remarkable level of consensus among Canadian legal academics, both in terms of supporting the Prime Minister’s statements about Canada continuing to welcome refugees, and in terms of proposing a straightforward way that this statement should be immediately implemented in policy.”

Read the letter.