Shared border and agreement on both sides. Joe Biden announced Friday in Ottawa that Canada and the United States would “work together to discourage illegal crossings” of their shared border and the “Roxham Trail”, a much-debated topic in Canadian politics. In front of the Canadian Parliament, the U.S. President also welcomed Canada’s commitment to regularly welcome 15,000 migrants from all over the American continent.
Joe Biden was welcomed Friday as a “great friend” in Canada for his first official visit. It is a great pleasure to have a great friend here,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the start of a bilateral meeting in the Parliament building in Ottawa, stressing the “values” shared by the two countries. “We sometimes have disagreements but there is no fundamental difference in the democratic values we share,” said the U.S. president.
The relationship between Washington and Ottawa is infinitely more cordial than during the presidency of Donald Trump, who had never made an official visit to the country. The 80-year-old Democrat had not been able to visit this neighboring and allied country right after his inauguration, as is customary for American presidents, because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this cordial understanding, this does not prevent some friction, especially on migration issues.
This prospect is already worrying migrant aid organizations. “The impact on refugees in extreme danger is devastating. The result will be to push people either to attempt even more dangerous crossings in remote areas, or to push them towards smugglers,” lamented Julia Sande, on behalf of Amnesty International.