The agreement represented a long-standing desire of the Canadian government to limit the number of people applying for refugees, as potential applicants are much more likely to travel to Canada by land via the United States to assert a right than in the opposite direction. Although the United States initially resisted Canada`s proposal because it meant that it had to deal with more complainants, after 2001, the Bush administration accepted this request in exchange for Canada`s cooperation with other U.S. security priorities. At the recent hearing before Stratas J., counsel for this group argued that the government`s assertion that there would be an „increase“ in new asylum seekers at the border if the agreement was struck down was „speculative“ and „hypothetical“. Read also: Safe Third Country Agreement declared unconstitutional — here`s what could happen next The government said that the abolition of the agreement will result in an „inflow“ of asylum seekers at the border, making it more difficult for different levels of government to maintain the existing refugee system, including the provision of housing and other social services. The agreement helps both governments better manage access to the refugee system in each country for people crossing the land border between Canada and the United States. The two countries signed the agreement on 5 December 2002 and came into force on 29 December 2004. Julie Taub, an immigration and refugee lawyer, says the Canada Border Services Agency has lost capacity since the agreement was put in place in late 2004 and would be „overwhelmed“ if the agreement was repealed.  The Safe Third Country Agreement applies to refugee claimants wishing to travel to Canada or the United States at Canada-U.S. border crossings (including rail). It also applies to airports where a person seeking protection in Country B has not been identified as a refugee in Country A and is transiting in Country A as part of his removal. The government appealed McDonald`s decision and argued that there would be „irreparable harm“ to the rule of law and the common good if the border agreement were overturned.