Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


Montreal, February 1st, 2017 — As a result of the United States Government’s restriction on the entry of nationals and refugees from seven Muslim majority countries into the United States, CRARR calls upon Canadian employers, and educational and scientific organizations to take necessary measures to prevent all consequences of primary and secondary discrimination this ban can have on their employees and students.

Last week, the United States, through a presidential Executive Order, temporarily banned entry to nationals and citizens of seven Muslim majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – under the guise of national security considerations. The ban is for 90 days. In addition, the Executive Order suspends the entire U.S. refugee admissions system for 120 days; it indefinitely suspends the admission of Syrian refugees into the U.S.; and it prioritizes refugee claims on the basis of religious persecution of religious minority groups.

In the hours following the ban, valid visa holders, non-U.S. dual citizens, US legal residents and approved refugees were detained in airports and at ports, denied entry onto planes and/or ordered out of the country. This Executive Order has been widely criticized for breaching U.S. international human rights obligations and promoting discriminatory policies that run counter fundamental values of human dignity, equality and non-discrimination.

CRARR shares many Canadian citizens and permanent residents’ objections as well as concerns regarding the nature and consequence of this ban. The results of this Executive Order leave many dual citizens, permanent residents and others who are in Canada on a visa in a state of uncertainty and vulnerability, not only because it limits their ability to travel to the U.S. for family and professional reasons, but also because the ban can create short-term and long-term adverse consequences on the employment and educational opportunities available to these individuals.

For instance, Canadian employers may hesitate to hire applicants affected by the blanket ban due to fear that they may be unable to enter the U.S. for work-related purposes. The ban may have the same effect in scientific research and academic institutions. Furthermore, researchers and academics who are nationals of the prohibited countries will lose important opportunities to attend career-building conferences, present research papers and conduct professional activities with their colleagues in the United States. This may adversely affect their long-term careers by limiting opportunities.

CRARR calls upon Canadian employers and academic and scientific organizations to show flexibility and develop necessary measures to protect their present employees and students from discriminatory fall-outs of this ban, and to be extra-cautious of the long-term residual discriminatory effects of this American policy.

Canadian institutions must be guided by domestic civil rights laws and the constitutional principles of equality and reasonable accommodation. Where possible, they should join other companies and institutions in this global economy, in order to call for common-sense state policies that support the mobility of human capital and knowledge and that respect international human rights laws, while taking into account valid national security concerns.

CRARR remains available to assist Canadian dual citizens and permanent residents who are nationals or citizens of the banned countries and who face discrimination based on race and ethnic or national origin by Canadian companies and scientific research and academic institutions.