P.E.I. woman participates in 'research-a-thon' on U.S. travel ban

Sarah Flanagan from Charlottetown is one of several Canadian law students trying to find ways to help refugee claimants in the wake of the recent U.S. travel ban

After the recent U.S. travel ban, law students across Canada try to help refugee claimants

U.S. President Donald Trump signs his controversial executive order to impose tighter vetting of travellers entering the U.S. (Reuters)

An Island woman recently joined law students across the country in researching legal documents that could help refugees get into Canada from the United States.

Sarah Flanagan grew up in Charlottetown and is now a second-year law student at Dalhousie University in Halifax.  

She said the goal of the project was to gather information on the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement to be used by the Canadian Council for Refugees.

"It's not very often while we are at school that we get to use the skills that we are learning in a meaningful way," she said.

Protests U.S. travel ban

Sarah Flanagan from Charlottetown, P.E.I. is a second-year law student at Dalhousie University. (Sarah Flanagan)

The Safe Third Country Agreement took effect in 2004 and prohibits asylum seekers from making refugee claims at the U.S.-Canadian border, because each country considers the other to be safe.

But after U.S. President Donald Trump imposed a travel ban on residents of seven Muslim countries, that agreement has come under scrutiny by the Canadian Council for Refugees.

Wednesday's "research-a-thon" by the law students was created to gather information and draft arguments to use in potential legal challenges of the agreement and to raise funds for any litigation the council may bring forward, according to a donation page.

So far, more than $7,700 has been raised and 22 schools participated, said Flanagan.

She added that every school researched a different area.  Dalhousie students examined different legislative provisions, jurisdictional issues, jurisprudence and human rights law, she said.

"It was really a Canadian law student movement," she said.

With files from Stephanie Kelly/CBC