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 handful of passengers headed to the United States from Canada had been denied boarding.
Trump‘s decision on Friday, which also affects refugees, left many people uncertain of whether they could 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,” Hussen said.
Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has refrained from criticizing the United States, which takes 75 percent of Canadian exports, preferring instead to stress Canada is open to refugees.
“Every country has the right to determine their policies,” saidHussen.
The Canadian Council for Refugees and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, or CCLA, called on Ottawa to withdraw from a Safe Third Country agreement with the United States, under which Canada returns asylum seekers crossing the border.