Biden meets with Trudeau as US and Canada announce immigration deal
The deal was announced during Biden’s first trip to America’s northern neighbor.
Mar 24, 2023 6:12pm ET
• 4 minutes reading time
President Joe Biden and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new migration deal on Friday as part of Biden’s first visit to America’s northern neighbor.
The new deal will allow Canada to send back to the US migrants crossing at unofficial ports of entry on America’s northern border, a change to Canada’s long-sought safe third country deal.
The US can also reject asylum seekers who travel across the border from Canada.
In return, Canada has agreed to allow 15,000 more people from the western hemisphere to legally migrate to Canada.
Biden formally announced the new political arrangement while making remarks before Canada’s parliament, saying he applauded Canada for “stepping up similar programs that open up new legal avenues for migrants.”
“At the same time, the United States and Canada will work together to stop illegal border crossing and fully implement the updated Safe Third Countries Agreement,” Biden said.
During a joint press conference with Biden, Canada’s Prime Minister stressed working with the US to “protect our people.”
“Keeping people safe also includes keeping asylum seekers safe, securing our borders and ensuring strong immigration,” Trudeau said. “Both our countries believe in safe, fair and orderly migration, refugee protection and border security.”
Trudeau said authorities will begin enforcing the agreement at midnight on Friday.
U.S. President Joe Biden walks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada March 24, 2023.Blair Gable/Reuters
The Bidens arrived in Canada on Thursday and were greeted by Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau at their Ottawa residence.
US-Canada relations were strained during the previous administration, when Trudeau and former President Donald Trump clashed over a range of issues, including trade and immigration. But the alliance has since mended itself under Biden.
Trudeau addressed the “challenging times” the two nations were facing, noting that the last time Biden appeared in the room for a joint news conference, he was the outgoing vice president.
“I have to say through our conversations at the time, through the work we have been able to do over the past two years, it has been truly an honor to be able to work with you for the benefit of Canadians and Americans, but to continue to do so even at a very uncertain time.” have a positive impact on the world,” Trudeau said.
Biden also praised the US-Canada alliance, saying the two countries “always have one another’s backs.”
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada March 23, 2023.Adam Scotti/Prime Minister’s Office via Reuters
Biden began the day on Parliament Hill with an official welcome and meetings with Trudeau, Canada’s conservative opposition leader Pierre Poilievre, and others.
In the evening, Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will attend a gala dinner hosted by the Trudeaus at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa before heading to Wilmington, Delaware.
ABC News’ Justin Fishel and Luke Barr contributed to this report.