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Welcome Developments

1.   On November 14, 2020, a federal judge in New York invalidated Trump administration rules narrowing the DACA program, ruling the restrictions were improperly issued. The DACA program was created by the Obama administration in 2012 to protect young immigrants, known as Dreamers, who have been living in the country without legal permission since childhood, and has been the subject of legal battles for the past three years. Now, for the first time since September 2017, new applicants who weren't previously eligible, typically because they were too young, can apply.

2.   In 2002, the U.S. and Canada signed a "Safe Third Country Agreement" ("STCA") to unite in a shared approach towards asylum-seekers. In effect since 2004, any asylum-seeker given the opportunity to claim asylum in one country, can not thereafter seek asylum in the neighboring country. However, on July 22, 2020, a Canadian Federal Court judge ruled that the STCA is in violation of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and therefore unconstitutional, because the United States is no longer a country to which Canada can send asylum-seekers and know they will be protected from being returned to persecution in their home country. The decision does not take effect for another six months. Meanwhile, the decision is on appeal by the Canadian government. With a new incoming US administration, time will tell how this all plays out.

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