TORONTO – Canadian leaders reacted on Saturday, January 28, to US President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, which halts all refugees from entering the United States for three months, as well as blocks entry for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia.
“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada,” tweeted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Canadians and Americans responded to the Prime Minister Trudeau expressing their appreciation for his message.
The Prime Minister sent a second tweet with a 2015 photo of him welcoming a Syrian refugee at a Canadian airport.
Trudeau’s Liberal government welcomed more than 39,000 Syrian refugees soon after he was elected in late 2015.
The hashtag #WelcomeToCanada began trending on Twitter soon after Trudeau issued his tweets.
Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen also sent out a tweet while attending a citizenship ceremony for new Canadians.
“15 yrs ago I took the oath of citizenship. What an incredible feeling to welcome 21 new Canadians at my 1st citizenship ceremony as Minister,” tweeted Hussen.
Hussen, a former Somali refugee, was recently appointed to cabinet and is now overseeing Canada’s federal immigration policies.
He arrived in Canada as a refugee from Somalia at the age of 16.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Toronto, John Tory issued a statement on Saturday affirming the city’s commitment to its diversity.
“Toronto is the most diverse city in the world. Our citizens come from every part of the globe, and arrived here looking for opportunity, equality and, often, safe harbor,” he said.
“While there is still work to be done, I am proud of our city’s legacy of acceptance and inclusion, and the fact that our economy relies on the hard work and expertise of people of all backgrounds. Our city’s motto is ‘diversity our strength.”
“We understand that as Canadians we are almost all immigrants, and that no one should be excluded on the basis of their ethnicity or nationality,” noted the mayor.
“Alberta has always been welcoming to those seeking refuge, and that will not change. #WelcomeToCanada #ableg,” responded Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.
“Refugees enrich our society, making positive contributions to our communities, economy & vibrant cultural fabric.”
“Alberta will welcome you with open arms. All people, no matter where they are from, deserve to live in peace.”
“Refugees = humans. Winnipeg will continue to provide sanctuary to those seeking refuge from conflict around the world. #RefugeesWelcome,” tweeted Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman.
On Saturday night, a federal judge in New York City issued an emergency stay that temporarily blocks the US government from sending people out of the country after they have landed at a US airport with valid visas.