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June 26th, 2017

NDP to Trudeau: Reject travel ban, increase Canada’s refugee commitments

The following is a statement from Jenny Kwan, NDP Critic for Immigration and Refugees:

“On behalf of the New Democratic Party, I wish to express my profound disappointment with the reinstatement of President Donald Trump’s travel ban. This ban unfairly targets all refugees and individuals from six predominately Muslim countries. Claims that it will benefit US national security are not supported by a shred of evidence.

Canadians wholly reject any travel ban based on race or religion. We expect our leaders to be brave enough to stand up for human rights and against policies that put lives at risk, while perpetuating hate and fear. Unfortunately Canada’s Prime Minister has refused to directly criticize this ban.

When President Trump’s original travel ban was announced, Prime Minister Trudeau tweeted out a message to refugees welcoming them to Canada even as his government shut down the private sponsorship program set up to assist Syrian refugees. Since then he has failed to take any measures that would enhance Canada’s refugee program in the wake of such a ban.

Not only has Prime Minister Trudeau refused to condemn this ban, he’s refused to increase the number of refugees Canada takes in and placed a hard cap on a category of privately sponsored refugees. Additionally, and despite opposition from across the country, Trudeau has refused to suspend the so-called ‘Safe Third Country Agreement’ which prevents asylum seekers from crossing the border at formal points of entry. Instead, hundreds of asylum seekers have been forced to make dangerous crossings over the Canadian border, some losing appendages to frost bite and one woman losing her life.

Canada has a duty and a responsibility to work with the international community to address the growing refugee crisis, a crisis which will only be made worse by the US travel ban. The government of Canada should condemn this ban, suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement and increase our commitments to support refugees.”