Amid the confusion following US President Trump’s temporary travel ban for nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, CP24 reported that Canada’s immigration minister Ahmed Hussen said that those stranded in Canada following the ban will be given temporary residence permits.
Ahmed also said that Canadian permanent residents from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Libya – countries targeted by the travel ban – will still be able to cross the border into the US provided they have a valid Canadian permanent resident card and a passport from one of the seven countries affected.
On Friday, President Trump instructed the US security agencies to formulate during the next few months a new policy to ensure a more effective security screening of terrorists and criminals before entering the US.
In an implicit defiant message to Trump’s policy following the ban, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent out a message of welcome to refugees in the form of one of his pre-election campaigns. “A Canadian is a Canadian”, Trudeau tweeted, and vowed to continue welcoming refugees regardless of their faith, based on his deeply held belief that “diversity is our strength”.
Toronto Mayor John Tory released a statement on January 28, 2017 reaffirming his commitment to welcoming refugees. “As our federal government continues to enforce Canadian immigration policy with focus on the safety and security of our entire nation, Toronto will continue to welcome refugees and new Canadians”, Tory said.
On Monday, a rally in front of the US Consulate in Toronto against “most racist Executive Orders the world has seen in decades” is expected to draw thousands of Canadians.
According to the event’s Facebook page, the rally organizers vow to do a “short-term symbolic shut-down of the building, to remind governments – all governments – that the public will not tolerate racist policies and will stand up.”
Ilana Shneider is the co-editor of CIJnews and the founding executive director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mutually beneficial, long-standing diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org