Slamming the Golden Door: Canada-U.S. Migration Policy and Asylum Seekers

  • Robert Falconer University of Calgary


In the past few weeks, the United States has either announced or considered noteworthy changes to refugee and asylum policies. On July 15, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security announced that asylum seekers passing through other countries on the way to the U.S. would be barred from claiming asylum, regardless of the merits of their claim, and would be deported to their home countries even if they qualified for refugee status, with few exceptions (Department of Homeland Security 2019). Three days later, it was reported that the Trump administration is considering drastically reducing the number of refugees it resettles from abroad for the coming year, including potentially shutting down its refugee resettlement program (Hesson 2019). Both of these policy changes have significant implications for Canada. This communiqué will focus on the first of these changes, referred to here as the “asylum bar”, while a second focuses on the potential shutdown of the U.S. resettlement program.