Ottawa, Ontario – January 30, 2017
Today, Canadian Bar Association President René Basque, Q.C., issued the following statement on the implications of US Executive Order on protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the US:
“The Canadian Bar Association joins those in Canada, the US and around the world in sharing concerns about the discriminatory nature and extraterritorial impact of the US Executive Order on protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the US – on vulnerable people in need of protection, and on Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are also citizens of a country designated in the order.
“We urge the Government of Canada to ensure that Canadians and permanent residents are treated fairly by other states including the US. While the US government has now given high-level assurances that the order does not apply to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, it seems to be based on the national interest exemption in the order and determined case-by-case with no clear procedures. Individuals may still face issues at ports of entry.
“We also urge the government to examine the impact of the order on agreements and policies between Canada and the US, including the Safe Third Country Agreement. Under the Agreement, refugee claimants must request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they qualify for an exception to the Agreement. If refugee claimants no longer have access to a meaningful and fair adjudication process in the US, Canada must continue to fulfil its own international obligations and offer to process their claims in Canada.
“The CBA stands proudly with Canada’s political leaders in support of providing shelter to people fleeing persecution, terror and war.”