Canadian dual citizens affected by U.S. ban


TORONTO – Canadians who hold dual citizenship with any of the seven countries targeted by a travel ban will not be permitted to enter the U.S., a representative from the State Department said Saturday.

The ban prevents citizens of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Libya from entering the U.S. in the next 90 days, regardless of whether they have an immigrant or non-immigrant visa.

Leaders in the Iranian-Canadian and Somali-Canadian communities are speaking out against the ban.

Bijan Ahmadi, president of the Iranian Canadian Congress, said he’s outraged by the new policy.

“It’s unacceptable. It’s very unreasonable,” he said. “It’s very discriminatory to target people based on their race, their religion, the country of their origin and the country of their birth. And the community has that same outrage.”

“Everybody’s nervous, everybody of Somali origin and Muslim origin,” said Osman Ali, Toronto-based director of the Somali Canadian Association of Etobicoke.

WestJet and Air Canada say they are waiving cancellation fees for people who hold passports from the affected countries, though a representative from Air Canada declined to say how the company is dealing with dual citizens.

A representative from the Canada Border Services Agency deferred questions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Representatives from Global Affairs, Citizenship and Immigration did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A U.S. law enforcement official told The Associated Press there was an exemption for foreigners whose entry is in the U.S. national interest, but it was not immediately clear how that exemption might be applied.