TORONTO (AP) — Canada will offer temporary residency permits to travelers who become stranded here by President Donald Trump’s order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations, the immigration minister said Sunday.
Ahmed Hussen, a Somali refugee, was recently named Canada’s immigration minister. He said no one is currently stranded at the country’s airports by the ban.
“Let me assure those who may be stranded in Canada that I will use my authority as minister to provide them with temporary residency if they need it, as we have done so in the past,” Hussen said.
Hussen said White House officials have offered assurances that permanent Canadian residents can enter the U.S. if they have a valid Canadian permanent resident card and a passport from one of the countries affected. Permanent residents are the equivalent of green card holders in the United States.
Dual citizens with a Canadian passport can still enter the U.S. The U.S. State Department had initially said that dual Canadian citizens were included in the ban.
But Daniel Jean, Canada’s national security adviser, said Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn assured him that dual Canadian citizens are not affected.
He said he first learned of the ban on travelers through the news media, and doesn’t believe the measure makes the world any safer.
Meanwhile, more than 200 leaders of Canada’s technology sector signed an open letter urging the federal government to provide working visas to tech workers affected by the Trump administration’s action. The letter requests visas allowing people who were working in the sector in the U.S. to now live and work in Canada with access to benefits while they apply for permanent residency, if they choose.
Jennifer Moss, who co-founded a Canadian tech company and speaks for an organization called Tech Without Borders, said such visas could help workers who are blocked from returning to U.S. jobs.
“If you’re not interested in keeping people that are extremely talented, intelligent, brilliant minds from all around the world, and turning them away at the borders, we’re happy to take those people in our country,” Moss said.