Canadians, there are things we can do about the US #MuslimBan

Dear Canadian friends,

If you are horrified by the news of the executive order on immigration that came out of the US yesterday, and you want to do something that could influence Canada’s official response to it, consider calling or writing your MP and telling them where you stand on the following:

  • Vancouver East MP (and NDP Critic for Citizenship, Immigration and Refugees) Jenny Kwan has called for an Emergency Debate in the House of Commons tomorrow (Monday), to address the implications of the immigration ban order both for Canadians and others targeted abroad.
  • The Canadian Civil Liberties Association and refugee advocate groups (e.g. No One is Illegal, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, and a group called Concerned Canadian Clergy for Refugees, among others) are calling on the federal government to revisit the Safe Third Country Agreement, which was signed in 2004 and currently restricts Canada from taking in asylum seekers who have landed in the US first (on the assumption that the US is a “safe” country for refugees – ha.). They are also calling on the government to issue temporary Canadian visas for the people who are currently stranded at US airports and other ports of entry.
  • About a month ago the federal government put a cap on applications by “group of five” private refugee sponsors: the maximum number of claims in this category that will be processed is 1,000 nation-wide for 2017. The rationale is that the government is already dealing with a huge backlog of applications from 2016…and I get that. My hat is off to the Citizenship & Immigration staff who are no doubt working flat out to deal with the flood. BUT if we don’t have the resources to deal with the numbers, can’t we find more resources? This is so important.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s #WelcometoCanada tweet was inspiring, but it’s empty rhetoric until it’s backed up with concrete action. (Side note: this is what Tr*mp has already done to us: the goal posts have been moved so far into the twilight zone that we applaud with relief and pride when our PM makes a vague positive statement about Canada’s support of basic human rights.)

It doesn’t have to be a long letter or call; you don’t have to come prepared with a ton of background and evidence to support your argument. “Dear MP, I am one of your constituents, and it is important to me that you address X, Y and Z” will get the message across. What matters is to stand up and be counted. (Feel free to share this post and/or its Facebook version if you are so inclined!)


Find contact info for your MP:

Letter-writing or call script template prepared by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association: