University of Calgary law students are doing their part to help refugees effected by the United States travel ban.
While the ban has been suspended, they say if it’s re-instated many refugees could be forced to go back home and face persecution.
Students are joining over 20 law schools across the country for the 12 hour Research-a-Thon — drafting arguments that could potentially legally challenge the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement.
Organizer and first year law student, Shannon Faleiro says the challenge could suspend the treaty, meaning refugees that are rejected from the U.S. could legally find asylum in Canada.
“We’re trying to mount a legal challenge in which we basically suspend the treaty so that refugees in the U.S. can come to Canada. The treaty right now doesn’t allow refugees to come by land into Canada and so if they’re found not be legal refugees they’re sent back to their countries and could face persecution.”
“The document that we’re all submitting will be condensed by some students….basically involves declaring the U.S. an unsafe, not an unsafe but not a safe third party country [for] refugees,” said Faleiro.
He says organizing the, event with the help of his fellow students has been phenomenal.
“You see all the protests happening in the U.S. and in Canada and as law students we don’t have a lot of time to go out and protest with them but this gives us an opportunity to show that we care about the cause and we care about the rule of law. So this puts our expertise, and what we’re learning in class, into action.”
The drafted document will be sent to the Canadian Council of Refugees for review.
The Research-a-Thon wrapped up Saturday evening.