By Avi Selk
(c) 2017, The Washington Post ·
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau became the open-armed anti-Trump to millions of people over the weekend when he publicly welcomed refugees to Canada, hours after the U.S. president barred many from his shores.
Some wondered whether Trudeau’s invitation was just talk. Last night’s apparent terrorist attack on a Canadian mosque was just the sort of horror that President Donald Trump had said his ban would protect against.
But Canada’s government has made good on Trudeau’s words - “offering temporary residence to any traveler who is stranded in Canada as a result of a controversial and confusing travel ban,” the Globe and Mail reports.
As noted in the paper’s handy guide to Trump’s executive order - “I’ve been stranded. What can I do?” - the offer won’t do much good for people stuck in countries that aren’t Canada, including those who arrived in the United States with U.S. visas, only to be detained and face deportation.
But some travelers were hit with the ban while en route from Canada to the United States, the Globe and Mail reported. They can now stay in the north - at least until Americans sort out the chaotically implemented order.
Trump’s executive order, which was signed Friday, bars citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for three months, with longer restrictions on refugees.
The president said the bans would give his administration time to strengthen vetting procedures and keep “radical Islamic terrorists” out of the United States - though The Washington Post reported that Trump’s aides keep citing terrorist attacks that the ban would not have prevented, and others have accused Trump of trying to make good on his campaign promise to bar Muslims from the country.
Canadian officials also reported “confusing and conflicting” responses from the White House, according to the Globe and Mail.
Even Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was unable to answer basic questions about the ban when his Canadian counterpart first asked him about it, the newspaper reported. “The confusion left Canadian politicians questioning what steps to take next.”
For some stranded travelers, there’s now a solution: Live in Canada, for a while, if you want.
“Canadians are proud of our long history of acting with compassion and humanitarianism to those seeking refuge for themselves and their families,” said immigration minister Ahmed Hussen - who the Globe and Mail noted was born in one of the countries whose citizens are barred from the United States.