The Canadian government has reached a deal with the United States to close an unofficial U.S.-Canada border crossing at Roxham Road, between New York state and the province of Quebec, Radio-Canada reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources. Roxham Road is a dirt path that has become a route of choice for asylum-seekers hoping to enter Canada from the United States in what is known as irregular crossings due to the absence of an official border checkpoint.
A sharp increase in asylum seekers entering Canada through unofficial crossings has increased pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reach an agreement with President Joe Biden to close off the entire land border to most asylum seekers. Radio-Canada reported that Ottawa has agreed to welcome a certain number of migrants through official channels as part of the deal with the Biden administration to close Roxham Road, though precise details were not known.
It was also unclear whether an announcement would be made during Biden’s first visit to Canada as president later on Thursday, Radio-Canada. Biden is making a long-delayed visit to close ally Canada to express unity on Ukraine and the environment. He will be in Ottawa on Thursday and Friday to address Parliament and meet with Trudeau.
Trudeau’s office did not respond to a request for comment about the deal on the border crossing, but a government source said: “We’re encouraged by signals from the U.S., but nothing is done until it’s done, and the leaders meet tomorrow.” “We’re hopeful for progress coming out of those meetings tomorrow,” the source said, declining to be named because the negotiations are not public.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Trudeau said the U.S. and Canadian governments had been working to resolve the “complex” issue of irregular border crossings for many months and that he hoped to make an announcement about it soon.
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