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Canadian citizens can travel freely to the United States despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s sweeping immigration order that bans visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, the Prime Minister’s Office says.
The news comes hours after the U.S. State Department told CBC News the 90-day travel ban covers all people who have a nationality or dual nationality with Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen — which would include tens of thousands of Canadians.
“We have been assured that Canadian citizens travelling on Canadian passport will be dealt with ?in the usual process,” Kate Purchase, spokeswoman for the Prime Minister’s Office, said in a statement.
PMO says Canadians are not affected by the new US immigration policy #hw pic.twitter.com/VgZR18VjT9
Trump’s executive order on Friday curbs travel to the U.S. for people coming from the seven Muslim-majority countries. In an email to CBC News earlier on Saturday, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said: “Beginning January 27, 2017, travellers who have nationality or dual nationality of one of these countries will not be permitted for 90 days to enter the United States or be issued an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa.”
Before the PMO issued the statement of assurance to Canadian dual citizens, Leena Yousefi, a family and immigration lawyer in Vancouver, told CBC News she is “deeply saddened and offended” by Trump’s order.
“We’re just completely shocked,” she said. “We have family in the United States. We’ve never had a problem with American people.”?
Plenty of people in Canada are still affected by the executive order.
Mehran Shirazi, a PhD engineering student at Simon Fraser University and a permanent resident in Canada, said he doesn’t know when he will be able to see his brother in New York City, who is awaiting a green card for the U.S. Both were born in Iran.
Shirazi’s parents haven’t seen his brother in six years and had planned to visit to New York this spring.
A Canadian-Iranian woman living in the U.S. who asked not to be named told CBC Toronto earlier on Saturday that she’s afraid to come back to Canada, for fear she won’t be able to return again to her family.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” she said.
She said she and her husband were planning a trip to Toronto along with their children during their February school break. Despite the fact that she holds a green card and her children are born in the U.S., the woman says, she would barred from re-entering the country after their visit to Canada.
“If we leave the country they’ll all be able to come back, including my husband, but I would be denied entry,” she said by phone.
“If I didn’t have kids I would just leave and not want to come back. But I have kids and they go to school here. And I can’t just say, ‘OK, we’ll go’ and risk it.”
Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen was born in Somalia, one of the countries on Trump’s ban list.
Camielle Edwards, senior special assistant for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, told CBC News, “We have no concerns about Minister Hussen’s ability to travel to the United States.”
Trump’s order makes some exemptions for diplomats.
It also suspends entry for Syrian refugees until Trump determines that doing so is “consistent with the national interest,” and freezes the country’s refugee program for 120 days — though the U.S. may admit refugees on a case-by-case.
It was not immediately clear if Trudeau was directly responding to Trump’s ban.
The survey also showed there were 74,550 people in Canada from those countries who do not have citizenship in Canada:
The survey was compiled before Canada’s commitment to resettle tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in 2015.
A federal judge in New York on Saturday night barred U.S. from deporting travellers with valid visas covered by Trump order, which the American Civil Liberties Union says will affect 100 to 200 people detained at airports. It’s unclear how many are Canadian.
Canadian passport holders and dual citizens will not be affected by the ban. Problems at the border? Call us 24/7 at 613-996-8885.