I discussed the Executive Order implemented on January 27, 2017 and the resulting chaos and confusion with Global News on January 30, 2017.
Speaker 1: ...the outcry continues for a ban on immigration and refugees. Is part of this government attempt to stop radical terrorists from entering America. This morning, a look into the international rules and and impact of vetting people. Immigration lawyer Raj Sharma joins us this morning with more insight into what this could potentially entail. I know Raj throughout the weekend, there was a lot of kind of uncertainty as to how this was being ruled out, but things seem to be a little bit more clear this morning. However, I want to start by asking you, have you seen anything like this rolled out internationally before?
Raj Sharma: No. If you look at the United States, the country itself was founded as a haven or escape for individuals fleeing their religious persecution from Europe. The United States is this haven and this safe place is right from its founding days. I want to make something clear, because there's been a lot of talk about, and there's a lot of scapegoating or targeting of certain groups or immigrant groups or certain types of refugees. I want to make it very very clear, immigrants as a whole commit less crimes than native born populations in both Canada and the United States.
the second point I'd like to make is that the Syrian refugees that came into Canada and that went into US, they've been vetted more than Trump's cabinet picks. That process has been more transparent than Trump himself. Trump hasn't even released his tax returns and we know everything about these certain refugees that are coming in, that are escaping persecution, that are escaping a violence.
Speaker 1: You mentioned these people escaping really horrible scenarios in a lot of cases from their home countries, wanting to come to a fresh start, now being denied entry. What are the implications there for these people? What can they do?
Raj Sharma: The problem with this is that, you know when I first heard about this on Friday, this was ruled on a Friday. There was this massive bewilderment and astonishment. I compared to the Kübler-Ross fives stages of grief where it goes from denial and bargaining all the way to acceptance. As an immigration attorney and someone that works with immigrants and refugees, you go from astonishment and bewilderment and ... At this point, after three or four days, the dust has settled a little bit.
Frankly, I must say that an eight year old with a crayon probably could have executed this executive order better that what we've seen. What we saw was greed cards are effected and that's 500,000 American permanent residents that have the right to live and exit and reentry and work in the United States. Apparently, they're effected. the executive order was drafted in such a way that it would it would cover dual-Canadian nationalist from one of these seven countries, including Iranians that left a very authoritarian regime decades ago to Somalians.
One of those would be our minister, our current minister of immigration that was just appointed a few days ago who was born in Somalia. There's confusion regarding that. Over time, we've got a little bit of clarity, and so okay dual nationalist from Canada are now going to be barred from entry, even though some have. We know that individuals that have a visa and manage to get into Canada, they should not be removed, and that's because of Federal Courts stay that was done in Brooklyn. We know that green card holders, the half million green card holders of these seven countries apparently they're not going to be subject to additional measures.
Speaker 1: How do you see this rolling out, going forward because there's so much criticism, this is anti-constitutional, State sight.
Raj Sharma: Well, we've got the constitution and the constitution of the US is similar to our charter, but there's equal protection under the law, and that's the US constitution. We of course have the charter which prohibits discrimination based on for example, origin or nationality. There's actually immigration act or legislation in the US that prohibits this as well. This is a problem with an executive order. Now, let's not let President Obama off the hook. President Trump is this real estate developer. You might be able to give him some leeway in terms of superficial acts, but President Obama was constitutional law prof. He's the guy who opened up the Pandora's box to these executive orders and that have run amok.
The ACLU ... By the way, I don't want to hear any more snarky lawyer jokes for the next little bit, we had my colleagues in the US rushing to the airports, filling up habeas corpus petitions in these sort of conditions. It's been a world wind, 72 hours, and this is the first week of a Trump Presidency. There's three years and 51 weeks to go, and of course in the first 10 days, he suffered a loss in the courts.
Speaker 1: We'll continue to see how this rolls out. As you mentioned, there's still ... It seems as though the dust is settling on this. Raj, thanks for your time this morning.
Raj Sharma: My pleasure.