In February 2003, a flood of refugees living in the United States who were seeking asylum in Canada created a logjam at the three main U.S.-Canadian border locations. As part of a new Canadian government policy, those refugees were returned to the United States without immediate hearings. As a result, many were placed in detention in the U.S. and others were deported to their countries of origin.
Last week, a coalition of non-governmental organizations, including Montpelier-based Vermont Refugee Assistance, filed a formal request with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to declare the new Canadian policy of so-called “direct return” illegal. Mitch Wertlieb talks with Patrick Giantonio, the director of Vermont Refugee Assistance, about the policy and the protest.
(To hear the interview, click on the “Listen” icon.)