Mayor John Tory says Toronto will continue to welcome refugees despite U.S. ban
Toronto remains a safe haven for refugees despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on travellers from seven Muslim countries and an indefinite halt to intake of Syrian refugees.
That was the word from Mayor John Tory in a statement issued late January 28—just a day after Trump had signed the ban.
“We understand that as Canadians we are almost all immigrants, and that nobody should be excluded on the basis of their ethnicity or nationality,” said Tory in the statement. “I have reached out to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen to offer any help and support the city can provide in light of recent events.”
Tory’s statement did not make specific reference to Donald Trump. But it came at the end of a day of chaos and confusion, as U.S. officials attempted to interpret Trump’s Executive Order banning anyone holding a passport from seven countries, which he said were sources of “radical Islamic terrorists.”
Those countries include Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Somalia. Even those holding Green Cards or Visas have been turned away. While Trump’s order has been struck down in court, the White House is continuing to insist that it be maintained and Department of Homeland Security officials are following it.
There had been confusion as to whether dual citizens who hold Canadian passports and a passport from one of the affected countries would be impacted. But late Saturday U.S. officials confirmed that would not be the case.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took a similar tone to Tory’s, taking to twitter with the following tweet:
“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada.”
Tory made it clear that the city is working hand-in-hand with the federal government.
“As our federal government continues to enforce Canadian immigration policy wit a focus on the safety and security of our entire nation, Toronto will continue to welcome refugees and new Canadians,” he said in his statement.