(Ottawa) Canada and the United States have finally come to an agreement on irregular migration. Details of the agreement are yet to be confirmed, but it could lead to the closure of Roxham Road. In exchange, Canada reportedly agreed to accept 15,000 asylum seekers through official ports of entry.

The conclusion of a pact between Ottawa and Washington was confirmed by La Presse on Thursday. The news was first reported by Radio-Canada. The Federal Minister of Health, Jean-Yves Duclos, had not denied it when he arrived in parliament.

“I think that’s really good news,” he said. Mr. Trudeau and other members of the ministerial team have been working hard on this for months, I would even say years, and I understand that there will be clarifications soon. »

He argued that “a lot” had been done “more quickly in the past few weeks” in anticipation of US President Joe Biden’s visit to Canada. The minister did not go so far as to say that the agreement paved the way for a possible closure of Roxham Road.

As part of the deal, Canada would have agreed to accept 15,000 migrants who would pass through official ports of entry, according to the Los Angeles Times – information that has not been confirmed by the Trudeau government.

“We are encouraged by the signals the Americans are sending us, but nothing is finalized until it is finalized. We’ll see how the meetings go [with the President of the United States and his delegation] on Friday,” said a senior Canadian government source.

Calls for Roxham Road to be closed have been growing since thousands of asylum seekers started crossing it again.

The federal Department of Immigration reports that there were a total of 9,392 interceptions in Quebec in January and February 2023.

The pressure was growing for this irregular passage to be closed. Quebec Premier François Legault reiterated his request again on Thursday.

The Bloc Québécois also sent a letter to the United States Ambassador to Canada, David Cohen, calling for the closure of Roxham Road and the suspension of the Safe Third Country Agreement.

“If the objective is achieved, which is to close Roxham and allow asylum seekers to apply on a regular basis across Canada, thus relieving the reception capacity of Quebec, at this time That will be a victory,” commented party immigration spokesperson Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe.

“Now is that it?” We do not know. You have to be careful. The devil is in the details. »

In particular, he wonders what will happen to the $500 million investment the federal government has made in Roxham Road.

The immediate suspension of the pact is also the outcome advocated by the New Democratic Party (NDP), and it continues to be, said Jagmeet Singh.

But “if there’s another way to sort out what’s going on, we’re open, because we have to sort this out,” he said in a scrum in the House of Commons foyer, THURSDAY.

The Conservatives preferred to wait for more details before reacting.

Canada and the United States have been trying to renegotiate the agreement for several years.

Under this agreement signed in 2002, a person who wants to obtain refugee status must submit his asylum application in the first of the two countries where he sets foot.

As it only applies to border crossings, airports and arrivals by train, many asylum seekers use the irregular crossing of Roxham Road to bypass it.