Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has taken a stand on social media against the temporary US ban on refugees and immigration from designated countries.
In a series of tweets, Justin Trudeau underscored his government’s commitment to bringing in “those fleeing persecution, terror & war”.
Within hours, his tweets had been shared more than 150,000 times.
“Welcome to Canada” also became a trending term in the country.
The prime minister, who gained global attention for granting entry of nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees to Canada over the past 13 months, also sent a pointed tweet that showed him greeting a young refugee at a Canadian airport in 2015.
On January 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending entry to the United States from Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen for 90 days.
Photo The Canadian Press
The US’s entire refugee admissions program has also been suspended for 120 days.
Those fleeing Syria as refugees are banned until further notice.
The executive orders created confusion in airports around the world as immigration and customs officials struggled to interpret the new rules.
The Canadian government is also in contact with the US administration “to get more clarity” on how the executive orders will affect Canadians citizens travelling to the US, said federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau.
According to State Department, all travelers – including those with dual nationality – from one of the seven designated countries will be barred from entering the US.
That includes people with valid immigrant or non-immigrant visas.
Justin Trudeau has refrained from criticizing Donald Trump, despite the fact the two leaders have very divergent political views.
In recent media appearances, Justin Trudeau has focused on the long friendship between Canada and the US and the deep economic ties between the two nations. The US is Canada’s primary trading partner.
Canada plans to allow 300,000 immigrants into the country in 2017, mostly through economic immigration, though that figure includes 40,000 refugees.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has welcomed the first 163 Syrian refugees to his country.
The first military plane carrying Syrian refugees has landed at Pearson on December 10.
Justin Trudeau said Canada was “showing the world how to open our hearts”.
The newly elected Liberal government has pledged to take in 25,000 refugees by the end of February 2016.
Canada’s stance on the issue differs sharply to that of the US, which has been reluctant to take in refugees.
Another military plane is due in Montreal on December 12.
Immigration Minister John McCallum said all 10 provinces in Canada are in favor of accepting the refugees.
“This is a great moment for Canada,” he said.
“This shows the way we really are. It truly is a non-partisan, national project.”
Photo The Canadian Press
Since early November, hundreds of Syrians have already arrived in Canada via commercial aircraft.
A total of about 300 Syrians will arrive this week.
The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest-circulation daily newspaper, ran a cover story on December 10 welcoming the refugees.
The US administration has said it will take in 10,000 refugees over the next year. Some Republican governors have unsuccessfully tried to keep them from coming to their states after deadly terrorist attacks in France and California.
Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said after the California attacks that all Muslims should be blocked from coming to the US, drawing condemnation across the globe.
About 800 refugees are going through screening tests in Lebanon and Jordan daily, John McCallum said.
Justin Trudeau, who swept the October 19 Canadian elections, has a different stance on refugees from that of his predecessor, the conservative Stephen Harper, who did not wish to resettle more people.
Unaccompanied men will be excluded from the resettlement program, but officials said this had nothing to do with national security concerns.
“We want them to have a roof over their head, and the right support,” said John McCallum.
“It takes a bit of time to put that all in place. We’re happy to take a little more time than originally planned to bring our new friends into the country.”
Those who will be considered refugees include families, women deemed to be at risk, and gay men and women.