NDP calls for emergency debate on U.S. President Trump’s immigration ban

NDP wants debate on U.S. immigration ban

OTTAWA — The New Democrats are asking for an emergency debate on the immigration ban ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Canadians across the country are deeply concerned,” said NDP MP Jenny Kwan, the immigration critic for her party.

Kwan said she wants the House of Commons to address the issue as its first order of business when MPs return to Ottawa on Monday, when all things Trump — including the impact his policies could have on Canadian jobs and economic trade — are expected to dominate discussions and political arguments.

She said she wants to know how the temporary American ban on people coming from seven Muslim-majority countries — and the indefinite halt to the Syrian refugee program — will affect Canadians, including those with permanent residency status, and what the Liberal government plans to do about it.

“I think the implications could be far-reaching,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday night the Trump administration — through National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — told them the ban will not affect those who hold Canadian passports, including dual citizens.

Kwan said many questions remain about whether they will be subject to additional screening and delays and whether Canada will take in a greater number of refugees.

The Liberals did not immediately say whether they would agree to the emergency debate.

Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel said she wants to see more debate on immigration policy in general.

“I think we need to have a broader discussion about immigration policy in Canada in light of a lot of the inflamed rhetoric on both sides of this debate,” Rempel said Sunday.

Rempel said she thinks that discussion should include the consequences of lifting visa requirements for Mexican visitors, progress on the Liberals’ commitment to settle Yazidi refugees and the cost of language instruction and other services needed to integrate Syrian refugees after they arrive in Canada.

“Those issues are very worthy of debate,” she said.

Joanna Smith, The Canadian Press

Canadian Press