Saskatoon

Sask. law students take part in research-a-thon in response to U.S. travel ban

Research being done by law students across the country looks at the legal issues of the Canada-U.S Safe Third Country Agreement.

Law schools across the country came together Saturday for 12-hour effort

Saturday’s 12-hour research-a-thon being done by all law schools in the country came about in response to the executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump (Trevor Bothorel/CBC)

Law students in Saskatchewan have joined a national effort to research information and arguments on the Canada-U.S Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA).

Saturday's 12-hour research-a-thon being done by all law schools in the country came about in response to the executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump impacting refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim countries.

"As a first-year student, it's one of the first opportunities we've had to work on a project that will have some real effects that will actually be used in a situation that's very high profile, at the moment," said Laura Schaan, who didn't want to miss out on the effort at the University of Saskatchewan.

Trump's order imposed a 120-day ban on refugees entering the U.S. and a 90-day ban on all entry to the U.S. for those from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

On Friday, a U.S. District judge ordered a halt to enforcing the order.

"I don't think it lessens anything we're doing," fellow first-year student Marie Digney said of Friday's development.

Digney explained the research being done by the students looks at the legal issues of STCA. Under the agreement, when a refugee arrives in either Canada or the U.S., they must ask for their refugee status in the first country they're in.

The issue with that, Digney explained, is that if someone finds themselves stuck in the U.S. due to Trump's order, they can't come to Canada due to STCA.

"They will find themselves in the position of a stateless person who is blocked out of the United States and doesn't really have anywhere else to go."

The day of research was done in partnership with the Canadian Council for Refugees. Digney said the documentation being prepared can be used by the council to persuade the federal government to make changes to the agreement. 

With files from Radio-Canada's Marc-Antoine Belanger

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