Canada to offer temporary residency to travelers stranded by U.S

Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:50pm EST
 
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By David Ljunggren and Alastair Sharp

OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada will offer temporary residency to any travelers stranded by U.S. President Donald Trump's orders temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries, a senior official said on Sunday.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen told a news conference he did not know how many people might be eligible but said only a small number of passengers trying to fly to the United States from Canada had been denied boarding.

Trump's abrupt decision on Friday, which also affects refugees, left people around the world uncertain of whether they would be allowed to enter the United States.

"Let me assure those who may be stranded in Canada that I will use my authority as minister to provide them with temporary residency if they need it, as we have done so in the past," Hussen said.

The government of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has so far refrained from criticizing the United States, which takes 75 percent of all Canadian exports, preferring instead to stress Canada is open to refugees.

The Canadian Council for Refugees called on Ottawa to pull put of its so-called Safe Third Country agreement with the United States, under which Canada returns asylum seekers crossing the U.S. border.

Such a move would be diplomatically insulting and Hussen said the pact would remain unchanged for now.

Local and national politicians in Canada have already condemned Trump's ban. On Sunday, the opposition New Democrats called for an emergency debate in the federal Parliament.   Continued...