One 'irritant' crossed out: US, Canada reach deal on curbing migration
Biden suggests striking a deal on managing a growing issue that both countries face, which is the undocumented migration on their lengthy border.
The giant neighbors, USA and Canada, struck a deal on illegal migration during Biden's trip where he laid out a vision for world-leading US-Canadian economic cooperation in a speech to Canada's parliament on Friday.
Canadian lawmakers gave Biden a standing ovation after he had delivered his speech in Ottawa where he praised US-Canadian unity.
"Americans and Canadians are two peoples, two countries, in my view sharing one heart," Biden said, vowing that Canada will "always be able to count on the United States."
Biden suggested striking a deal on managing a growing issue that both countries face, which is the undocumented migration on their lengthy border.
"The United States and Canada will work together to discourage unlawful border crossings," he said. Both countries will arrange to see undocumented asylum seekers crossing from the US to Canada turned back. In the meantime, Canada will also expand the pathway for legal entries.
Biden and Trudeau are both under political pressure to relieve these immigration systems. Regardless, Biden stated, "Welcoming refugees and asylum seekers is a part of who Canadians and Americans are."
Amnesty International's Julia Sande told AFP that the deal will have "devastating impacts on refugee claimants who are already at extreme risk."
"It will push people to more dangerous crossings in either remote areas or relying on smugglers," she added.
Biden laid out a vision of the joint goal with Canada of building high-tech economies and reinforcing supply chains, saying, "We're going to write the future together."
When Trudeau greeted Biden at the parliament building, he said that the United States was a great friend and ally as he gifted Biden a chocolate bar from Peace by Chocolate, a brand started by Syrian refugees.
USA pressures Canada to increase defense spending
Biden and Trudeau covered a wide range of areas during face-to-face talks where both sides pushed for improvement.
The US government has been pressuring Canada to increase its defense spending, which consisted of only 1.33 percent of GDP in 2022. It is scheduled to rise to 1.59 percent from 2026, which is well below the NATO alliance requirement, which is a minimum of 2 percent of GDP spending.
Both presidents issued a joint statement saying that they agreed to modernize their countries' joint air defense alliance, NORAD; Canada will be putting billions of dollars into improved radar and fighting aircraft infrastructure.
The neighboring countries also reaffirmed their support for Ukraine "for as long as it takes" in its war while issuing a warning to China.
"Canada and the United States acknowledge the serious long-term challenge to the international order posed by the People's Republic of China, including disruptive actions such as economic coercion, non-market policies and practices, and human rights abuses," the statement said.
"While we will cooperate with China in areas of mutual interest, such as on climate change, we remain committed to ensuring our ability to compete effectively with China on a level playing field."
Biden said he believed that China did not send arms to Russia after the war in Ukraine started at a joint news conference with Trudeau, saying, "Doesn't mean they won't, but they haven't yet."
"I don't take China lightly. I don't take Russia lightly," he added, while also suggesting that reports of their rapprochement had probably been "exaggerated".
The two leaders said they "remain concerned about deteriorating security in Haiti" but failed to announce any discussed plans for an international intervention force to stabilize the situation in the Caribbean nation.
The Canadian president announced that Canada will assign an additional Can$100 million in humanitarian relief and Haiti police training in a plan to welcome 15,000 more migrants from Haiti, Colombia, Ecuador, and other nations in the Western Hemisphere.