From Leadnow.ca: "The most important thing you can do right now is take 5 minutes to call your MP demanding that the Canadian government: Make an immediate, public condemnation of the executive orders by President Trump that bans Muslims and refugees from entering the US, and; Rescind the Safe Third Country Agreement which bars most refugee claimants entering from the United States over land to claim asylum in Canada."
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Hussen,
Please suspend the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement of 2004.
I am a Canadian national who lives in the USA, and I previously served inaugural Canada-US Fulbright Chair in Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California (2006/7). I am also a US Green Card holder.
Like millions of Green Card holders -- many Canadian -- who live in the USA, I was alarmed to learn that the Trump administration had inaugurated a cruel, racist ban on Muslims entering the USA, a ban that has included the illegal denial of America's international obligations against refoulment of asylum-seekers.
Worse still: due to the 2004 Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, the asylum-seekers who are so shabbily and dangerously treated on arrival to the USA cannot turn to Canada for sanctuary.
My father arrived in Canada in 1951 on a Displaced Persons boat from Hamburg. His mother, a former child soldier, and his father, a draftee, both deserted from the Red Army and crossed from a DP camp in Azerbaijan (where my father was born) to another DP camp in Germany, braving a pogrom in Poland where my infant father was nearly immolated in an anti-Semitic arson attack.
I find myself, 65 years later, living as an immigrant and the father of an immigrant in an America where people facing the same dangers as my father and grandparents are being returned to torture, punitive rape, and murder.
I also find myself with the uneasy knowledge that the Canadian government is complicit in this grotesque cruelty.
For these reasons, I ask you to take immediate action to suspend the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement until the USA comes into compliance with its international, longstanding obligations to refugees and asylum-seekers.
(Image: Human Chain Demonstration/Protest surrounding the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Canada. [@OmarHousany/Twitter])