Queen’s law students are supporting refugees in the wake of the United States travel ban.
President Donald Trump’s recent ban on refugees has prompted action from the Queen’s Law Refugee Support Program (QLRSP). As part of the Write for Refugees program, the group has collected over 100 signed letters asking Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen to suspend the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement as legal challenges to these executive orders continue to come forward.
Despite a less than positive initial reaction from Minister Hussen, the students are undaunted.
“We have to make a stand,” says Yamen Fadel (Law’18). Born in Syria, Mr. Fadel is a dual citizen who, at this time, is unaffected by the ban. “What about the people that don’t have my status? What is going to happen to them? Our response to the minister is we will never stop doing what we are doing. We have to continue to fight.”
The letter includes a call to denounce the executive order as discriminatory and contrary to Canadian values. It also calls on the government to remove the designation of the United States as a safe third country and to take immediate steps to offer protection to refugees caught in the middle.
“The reaction from the minister is disappointing but not unexpected,” says Alyssa Moses (Law’18). “It shouldn’t take our focus away from our goals. We have to let him know Canadian people care and want to help. I’m heartened by the reaction of the Queen’s students.”
Along with the letter campaign, the QLRSP is undertaking a number of other initiatives to support refugees. They are joining 21 other Canadian law schools for a “research-a-thon,” a 12-hour effort to compile as much research as they can to challenge the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement. The research will be used by the Canadian Council of Refugees.
The group has also started a Tilt campaign to bring a Syrian refugee family to Canada. Last year, Queen’s Law contributed to the sponsorship of Syrian refugee Pierre Rahebeh, whose family escaped from Aleppo to Lebanon after their home was destroyed. This time, the QLRSP is working to bring his family to Kingston. For more information, visit the Tilt campaign website.
For more information on QLRSP, visit the Facebook page.