An express visit to the neighbor, the time for a speech and a gala dinner. For his first official visit to Canada, US President Joe Biden saw the red carpet rolled out for him. “It’s a great pleasure to have a great friend here,” said Justin Trudeau, the Canadian leader, who had a very difficult relationship with former President Donald Trump. In the midst of a contest of pleasantries, Joe Biden announced an agreement between the two countries on irregular immigration.
Washington and Ottawa will “work together to discourage illegal crossings” of their shared border, which exploded last year, said the American president before Parliament. The agreement announced Friday provides that Canada regularly welcomes 15,000 additional migrants from all over the Americas.
Talks about Haiti
In the background of this announcement, the “Roxham road”: a makeshift route by which about 40,000 migrants arrived from the United States in Quebec last year, bypassing the official entry points. Its closure is already worrying migrant aid organizations. “The result will be to push people either to attempt even more dangerous crossings in remote areas or to push them towards smugglers,” said Julia Sande of Amnesty International.
Another topic of discussion was Haiti, in the throes of extreme violence and a serious humanitarian crisis. Justin Trudeau announced an envelope of 100 million Canadian dollars to support in particular the training of Haitian law enforcement.
But Joe Biden’s visit did not lead to an announcement about the possible dispatch of an international military force to the Caribbean country. Force which should ideally, according to the United States, be placed under the leadership of Canada. “We want to keep the Haitian people at the center of the solutions to resolve the crisis,” reiterated the Canadian Prime Minister.