Protesters Demand Open Borders At US Consulate
Protest Organizer Says Canada Needs to Reconsider Its Immigration Laws Too
A group of protesters gathered to block the entrance at the US Consulate earlier today in reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on refugees and travellers from Muslim majority countries.
The protest attracted approximately 50 people, who held up signs in support of immigration and yelled, “No KKK! No Fascist USA!”
Trump’s order, made on Friday, has suspended the American refugee programme for four months, banned all Syrian refugees indefinitely, and for three months bans all those travelling from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia.
With all the attention on the U.S. right now, protest organizer Bill Van Driel wanted to emphasize that Canada isn’t exempt from criticism, mentioning that the country has had similar laws for years.
He cited the Safe Third Country agreement, which enforces that refugees who pass through the U.S. first are not eligible for refugee claims in Canada.
But since Trump’s refugee ban, refugees who have recently immigrated to the U.S. are now not eligible for Canadian immigration due to that law, leaving many unsure of where to go.
A report done by Citizenship and Immigration Canada reported in 2015 that since it’s introduction in 2004, refugees claims in Canada had dropped by 40 per cent as a result of the law.
He demanded an end to this law, and an end to Canada’s designated country of origin list—which bars refugees from countries they consider “less likely” to produce refugees.
“This is also a way of discriminating based on somebody’s country of origin, for political reasons, to make it almost impossible for them to get refugee status,” Van Driel said.
Protesters were also there, in part, to denounce the shooting that occurred at a Quebec City mosque late last night. The shooter left six dead and 19 wounded. So far one suspect, Alexandre Bissonette, and one witness have been arrested.
“We can see [Islamophobia] being escalated. That’s why we feel we need to escalate our resistance and escalate our actions,” said Van Driel.