Cablegate: Canada's Intentions Regarding Safe Third Country

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 123874

1. (U) Summary: In a meeting on May 23, officials with
Citizenship and Immigration Canada told poloffs that while
Canada is prepared to meet its commitments concerning the
resettlement of refugees under its Safe Third Country
Agreement with the United States, it will not begin to do so
until that agreement is fully implemented by the U.S. End

2. (U) Poloffs met on May 23 with Daniel Jean, Acting
Assistant Deputy Minister for Policy and Program Development
at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and Bruce
Scoffield, Director of the Refugees Branch in Policy and
Program Development, to convey the points set out reftel.
While we had initially requested a meeting with CIC Deputy
Minister Michel Dorrais, we were referred to Acting ADM Jean.
Jean said Canada is prepared to set in motion the process
necessary to for resettlement of refugees referred to Canada
by the U.S., as proposed in the side letter to the Safe Third
Country agreement, once that agreement has been fully
implemented by the U.S. Jean said he had heard it will be
several months before the safe third regulations are
published in the U.S., and commented "we are becoming very
impatient" with this delay. Jean complained that the U.S.
had asked Canada to take a number of actions following
September 11, and Canada had responded quickly to those
requests; the Safe Third Country agreement was the one thing
Canada asked of the U.S., and it has not yet been completed.

3. (U) With respect to the issue of resettling interdicted
Cubans now located at Guantanamo, Jean indicated that GOC
views Guantanamo as Cuban territory, and therefore Canada
cannot accept such persons under current regulations as that
would constitute in-country processing for refugees.
Scoffield noted that third country nationals located at
Guantanamo, such as Haitians, can be resettled in Canada.
Referring to Michael Smith's May 19 letter to DAS Ryan, Jean
emphasized that Canada wants to see procedures set in place
for the referral of refugee cases by the U.S., and is ready
to meet with the U.S. to begin discussing such procedures.
Jean also stated that Canada would like to include the policy
implications of refugee resettlement in a broader dialogue
with the U.S. on humanitarian issues, another point made in
Smith's letter.

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