In the wake of President Trump’s new Muslim ban, lawyers and law students across the United States and Canada have been working on the ground, in airports, to provide assistance to stranded travellers.
The Executive Order, titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals,” was granted on January 27, 2017. It applies to all entries of the citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries: Irq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen for the next 90 days. The ban could be extended beyond that, with additional countries added to the list. Trump has made clear that the Secretary of Homeland Security is able to admit refugees who are of a minority religion in their home countries on a ‘case-by-case basis’. This effectively bars Muslims from entering the country, while favouring Christians.
These orders are not only xenophobic and immoral, but likely unlawful and unconstitutional.
In both the U.S. and Canada, law school grads and students are offering assistance to travellers denied entry to the U.S. Today, McGill law students connected with an Iranian student at the Trudeau International Airport. The man is currently barred from flying to Boston, despite his American student visa for a four-month study program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In the U.S., a federal judge has granted the American Civil Liberties Union’s request for a nationwide injunction to prevent the deportation of anyone stranded in U.S. airports because of the Executive Order. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Iraqi men who were travelling to the United States on immigrant visas. It states that the Order violates their Fifth Amendment rights to procedural and substantive due process, as well as U.S. immigration statutes.
The door is now open for the Canadian government to uphold our core values and speak up for the civil liberties of refugees, immigrants, and dual citizens. You can make your voice heard by emailing and urging your MP to take action here.
This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the view of the CCLA or PBSC.