Law students put their heads together to help refugees

“We are looking to mobilize law students locally as a part of a cross-country mobilization to help support the work the Canadian Council for Refugees is now doing”, said Amneet Bali a third-year student at Windsor Law.Law students from across Canada will join forces on Saturday to study ways to help asylum seekers in light of U.S. President Donald Trump’s order temporarily suspending that country’s refugee program.The agreement came into effect in 2004 to prevent refugees from making asylum claims in both countries, clogging up the system.This research-a-thon will focus on gathering information to use for possible legal challenges to the Safe Third Country Agreement.But when 50 students signed on in the first two hours, she figured the idea could be worth expanding across the country.”I don’t think it lessens anything we’re doing”, fellow first-year student Marie Digney said of Friday’s development. Under the agreement, when a refugee arrives in either Canada or the US, they must ask for their refugee status in the first country they’re in.On Monday, Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council said 10 people avoided the border and crossed into Manitoba to flee from the United States in the wake of Trump’s travel ban on seven majority Muslim countries.Withdrawing from the agreement would mean all asylum seekers now in the US could access Canada’s refugee system without having to risk their lives by turning to human smugglers, Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees, told the Star last week.For Saturday’s event, the students have also set up a Canada Helps fundraising page to benefit the refugee organization.”You see all the protests happening in the USA 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”.Sattarzadeh said each law school will be given an area to research and they are waiting for the refugee council “to let us know what specific research questions we’re going be looking into”.