Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed those fleeing war and persecution on Saturday even as Canadian airlines said they would turn back US-bound passengers to comply with an immigration ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
A day after US President Donald Trump put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States and temporarily barred travellers from the seven countries, Trudeau said in a tweet:
To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 28, 2017
A second pointed tweet, also timed to coincide with outrage over Trump’s immigration policy, included an archive photo of Trudeau welcoming a Syrian refugee at a Canadian airport in 2015.
Confusion abounded at airports around the world on Saturday as immigration and customs officials struggled to interpret the new US rules.
While Trudeau was tweeting a welcome to refugees, others on the social media platform were questioning whether Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen – a Somali-Canadian refugee – would be able to travel to the United States under the new rules.
Hussen’s office did not respond to a request for comment.