We thought we had heard the last of ‘Travel Ban’ talk when Trump’s second attempt was smacked down by state courts, but it looks like it’s back (mostly) and here to stay for the summer. Things got pretty bad the first and second times Trump tried out this ban thing, and like the health care bill, every time it comes back, it’s pretty much the same. Twice the ban has been ruled unconstitutional, but this time, the Supreme Court has ruled that most of the executive order can be enforced with a little revision to help separated families out.
As a refresher, this is what the executive order mandates: a 90-day ban on travellers from six majority Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) and a 120-day ban on refugees starting June 29. The SC is allowing the government to enforce the order, but added in their ruling that those with relations already inside the United States are exempt.
“In practical terms, this means that [the executive order] may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States. All other foreign nationals are subject to the provisions of [the order],” reads a statement from the court.
So basically, if you have family in the U.S., are a student at an American university, an employee of an American company or a lecturer invited to speak to an American audience, you’re good to come in. Otherwise, that’s a no. Not cool.
The Supreme Court is going to meet to discuss immigration again in October (the end of the 90-day ban period). Until then, this is the world we live in.
So what’s the deal over here in Canada, eh?
Well, like we’ve been saying for the past six months, thank God we’re not in the States! That doesn’t mean we’re not affected by their policies though. Here’s the deal: we aren’t going to see a lot of changes within Canada, but global relations and travel are a different story. Allow us to explain.
What does this mean for immigration to Canada?
Trudeau said in a news conference today that he will continue to promote our open immigration policy abroad (obviously in reference to Trump’s new ban). That being said, immigration lawyer Bashir Khan told Your Morning it doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing more refugees or a rush of immigration to Canada. We aren’t changing any of our laws, so we’ll still be admitting the same number of people yearly to Canada. That leaves some major backlog though.
But what about all those people who won’t be allowed to immigrate to the U.S.?
According to the Safe Third Country Agreement (a section of the U.S.-Canada Smart Border Protection Plan), Canada cannot accept refugees that the U.S. has already denied refugee status to. Legally, refugees must claim asylum in the first country they land in after fleeing their own. If the U.S. denies a person asylum, they cannot turn around and apply in Canada.
There are groups that are pushing for Trudeau to violate that agreement to help more refugees even though it would put a strain on U.S.-Canada relations. That’s a pretty sticky subject and it doesn’t look like Trudeau is going to move on that. Khan also said that the mass deportations that Trump talked about earlier in his presidency are not happening, so there are fewer panicked immigrants in the U.S. seeking a new country. Once again, Canada seems to be okay.
What about the travel of Canadian citizens?
Here’s the bottom line: Canada can’t protect you outside its borders. Once you pass into the U.S., you’re no longer under Canadian law and you should be aware of what that means.
Khan says that “for Canadians, travel to the U.S. at your own peril… You don’t know how you’re going to be treated. And remember, you don’t take your laws with you… You don’t take Canadian liberty and Canadian notions of human rights with you when you attempt to enter the U.S.”
The Immigration Minister says that dual Canadian citizens from the affected countries will not be effected by the ban when traveling to the U.S. if they travel with their Canadian passports. Permanent residents who have U.S. visas should also be okay too. We have to remember though that being allowed entry to the United States is at the discretion of the border officer — they have the final say.
So travel to the U.S. if you’re so inclined, but be very aware of what that could mean for you and take the necessary precautions. Don’t we love Canada?