Law students from across the country are trying to find loopholes in the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement.
It’s an agreement where if a refugee seeks refuge in the United States, they now can’t in Canada.
“We want the Canadian government to withdraw from the agreement, suspended it, or do something to get these US refugees to Canada safely,” said first-year University of Saskatchewan Law student Marie Digney.
The two countries signed the Agreement on Dec. 5, 2002 and it came into effect on Dec. 29, 2004.
The agreement has come under fire now that so many are affected by the United States travel ban.
Around 50 law students at the U of S started researching at 6 a.m. Saturday morning for the 12-hour research-a-thon.
It happened at 21 law schools across Canada and law Professors as well as local lawyers took part in Saskatoon.
“We can’t say what we’re researching in case this does turn into a legal challenge,” Digney said. “I don’t think the Canadian Council of Refugees would want to show their cards if this goes to court again.”
Montreal law student Rachelle Bastarache organized the mobilization across Canada, she originally floated the idea of a study group for her fellow McGill students who wanted to help those affected by Trump’s immigration policies.
But when 50 students signed on in the first two hours, she figured the idea could be worth expanding across the country.
“It spread like wildfire on social media,” Digney said. “I was really impressed with the idea by McGill law.”
This is the first time Canadian law students have coordinated an effort of this magnitude.
“It’s a really rewarding experience to feel like you’re doing something that might make a change,” Digney said.
-with files from the Canadian Press