Jenna Brown (right)

B.C. religious leaders call on Canada to act against U.S. immigration ban

Rabbis, priests and imams urge federal government to issue temporary visas to those stuck in U.S. ports of entry.

Religious leaders of various faiths are urging the federal government to let those stuck in U.S. airports into Canada, following President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.

Members of the group, Concerned Clergy for Refugees, held a news conference at Jack Poole Plaza in Vancouver on Sunday, calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to act.

“These are refugees that are fleeing war-torn countries, these are immigrants holding valid U.S. visas for travel, these are our brothers and sisters,” Rabbi Dan Moskovitz of Temple Sholom in Vancouver told reporters.

Trump issued an executive order Friday that bans entry into the U.S. by citizens and dual-citizens from the Muslim-majourity countries of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for the next 90 days.

In a letter signed by 75 faith leaders, the group is asking Canada to extent temporary resident visas or permits to those who hold American visas, have passed American security clearance, and who are stranded at American ports of entry.

Protests were held outside airports across the U.S. on Saturday following the Trump’s order, including at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City where about 50 people were detained for several hours.

“We have prayed that this would never happen again, not in 2017, not in North America,” Moskovitz said.

Trudeau posted a statement on Twitter Saturday evening, saying all are welcome in Canada.

A U.S. federal judge has issued a stay on the immigration ban, following an appeal by the the American Civil Liberties Union, allowing those detained on Saturday to be released and stay in the ports of entry where they arrived.

But this is only temporary, Moskovitz said.

“If America won’t take them, Canada must,” he said, referring to the “none is too many” slogan used during World War II when Jewish refugees fled Germany.

About 30 Lower Mainland residents attended the news conference, including Jenna Brown, who held a sign that read “Diversity makes Canada strong.”

Her boyfriend was a refugee from Vietnam, and imagining what her life would be like if he were to have been banned from entering Canada brought tears.

“He has made such an impact on my life,” Brown said. “To think that people are doing this to people who are fleeing who just want a better life is really hard for me to understand.”

When asked what Canadians can do to help, Moskovitz said to write to local MPs, MLAs, Premier Christy Clark, and Trudeau.

The Prime Minister was in Vancouver Sunday, attending events for Chinese New Year.


@ashwadhwaniashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.caLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

American Crown Circus debuting in Abbotsford

Tour coming to Sevenoaks Shopping Centre in July

Abbotsford considering raising education fee on new developments

Fee, which funds property acquisition for new schools, hasn’t budged since 2007

Abbotsford Photo Arts Club holds show in Mission

Exhibit runs June 18 to July 6 at The Rock Family Gallery

Abbotsford hopes to restrict new marijuana grow applications

After provincial rule change this spring, city left looking to craft its own rules

Abbotsford to boost transit faster than first planned

City to get 12 new buses, expand service by 40 per cent, by end of 2022

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Parents of B.C. murder victim want her personal belongings back

Lisa Dudley’s parents, Rosemarie and Mark Surakka, were at the Mission RCMP detachment Sunday

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read