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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Southern Neighbour Deemed Not Safe Enough For School Trips From Canada

Windsor school board forbids student trips to United States

Dear Americans who voted for Trump!

Until further notice, our students will not visit the United States for school trips anymore!  Yes, Trump voters, here is something you can be real proud of. Your country has been deemed too unsafe for students from Canadian schools. I hope you are happy now. Oh…btw. your tourism bookings from abroad are already down by 6.5%. But you have 330mill. people in your own country. Why not make America great again by spending your own money in your tourism industry?  It’s all the result of electing an insane and unpredictable  president with a ditto irresponsible political party.

DOUG SCHMIDT, WINDSOR STAR

Published on: February 10, 2017 | Last Updated: February 10, 2017 9:10 PM EST

Ambassador Bridge

Detroit is seen over the Detroit River across from the Windsor riverfront.

The local public school board is cancelling all student field trips to the United States because the current American political climate is considered too “unsafe” and unpredictable to permit cross-border travel.

“Paramount for us is student safety … we really don’t know what will happen to our students at the border,” said Clara Howitt, a superintendent with the Greater Essex County District School Board.

A “handful” of trips have already been nixed, with no school travel to America being allowed for the month of February. At the end of the month, the situation will be re-evaluated and decisions made on an individual basis, said Howitt.

U.S. President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Two courts have already struck down the ban but a defiant Trump, arguing the measure is needed to fight terrorism, has vowed to take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, while the American border remains open, for now, to all foreign citizens visiting with proper documentation, Ottawa has begun monitoring the situation and recording instances where Canadians — particularly dual citizens — have been turned around.

Where one person doesn’t go, nobody goes … we want to make sure nobody is excluded,” said public school board spokesman Scott Scantlebury. Howitt said Windsor boasts multicultural schools with students from many different countries. “We’re trying to make prudent decisions.”

Windsor West MP Brian Masse described as “ironic” the fact some of those cancelled trips were for school classes planning to attend Metro Detroit’s Holocaust Memorial Center.

“If ever there was a point in which the world needed to learn about racism and prejudice and the unspeakable truths that need to be spoken, (now is the time),” Masse told the Star. He accuses the Trump administration — less than a month in power — of already building “a virtual wall” between two countries with such close personal and business ties.

Masse said he’s already heard of Canadians being turned back. Family and friends, he said, are refusing to cross the border in the current climate of uncertainty and unpredictability, and he said he’s even heard of Americans unwilling to visit Canada due to fears of what the reception might be at the border on their return trip.

Masse described his own visit to the “iconic” Holocaust museum as “a life-changing moment.”

In an emailed response to the Star, Holocaust Memorial Center CEO Rabbi Eli Mayerfield said students are encouraged to visit to learn about “ethical conduct and responsible decision-making” and to teach them that “all people can take positive actions to combat hate and bigotry.” Mayerfield said he looked forward to welcoming Windsor’s students.

The Holocaust Center in Farmington Hills is currently hosting a special Anne Frank exhibit that programmers say “shows how people were persecuted by political decisions.”

Howitt said the board contacted U.S. border authorities before making its decision and was advised that any students who were citizens of the seven listed countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia — would be barred from crossing. That was before the most recent court rulings but, as Canadian authorities have acknowledged, there is still much uncertainty.

While there are regulations and guidelines to follow, Masse said individual border agents are given much discretion on deciding for themselves who gets into the U.S.

Masse said the reason Canada and the United States are so close is because “we have all these personal and business relationships that are above the politics.”

But politics are “changing our border,” he added.

Those politics are affecting other plans.

W.F. Herman Academy’s award-winning concert bands fundraise and organize for a big festival trip to the U.S. every couple of years. The junior and senior bands were planning to travel to a music festival in Washington, D.C., in April, but the public school board rejected the trip after discovering the local students would be in the American capital on the same day as a planned massive social justice rally expected to draw more than a half-million protesters.

“If this were a regular school trip, it would be a great trip, but it’s not a safe time for us to be there,” said Herman’s principal Josh Canty. The affected students, he added, are “very disappointed, they worked so hard on this, but it’s just something we’ll have to deal with.”

W.F. Herman, which has more than 1,200 students from JK to Gr. 12 and hosts an ESL program, has students from all over the world, said Canty. The Trump election has certainly boosted everyone’s interest in civics learning, he added.

There is hope an alternate concert band music festival can be found on the Canadian side of the border this spring, school officials say.

13 comments:

  1. Can't say as I blame Canada or any other country for such a decision...perhaps Canada could invite Trump and Kelly Ann Conway to the alternate concert band music festival this spring.

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    1. Hang on Peter....two more feet of snow headed your way......sooooooooory !

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  2. Canadians trying to enter the US are already having problems, according to today's CBC. I say you guys should all stay home and see how the American economy likes that. I'm sure a lot of nervous Americans are canceling plans to go to Canada in fear of not being able to come back, and whether it's a rational fear or not is to be seen according to your religious preferences. Many of us down here are still stunned that such a narcissistic baffoon could ever get elected n the first place.

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  3. FacebookTwitterGoogle+EmailPrintFriendlyA review of information compiled by a Senate committee in 2016 reveals that 72 individuals from the seven countries covered in President Trump's vetting executive order have been convicted in terror cases since the 9/11 attacks. These facts stand in stark contrast to the assertions by the Ninth Circuit judges who have blocked the president's order on the basis that there is no evidence showing a risk to the United States in allowing aliens from these seven terror-associated countries to come in.
    In June 2016 the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, then chaired by new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, released a report on individuals convicted in terror cases since 9/11. Using open sources (because the Obama administration refused to provide government records), the report found that 380 out of 580 people convicted in terror cases since 9/11 were foreign-born. The report is no longer available on the Senate website, but a summary published by Fox News is available here.

    The Center has obtained a copy of the information compiled by the subcommittee. The information compiled includes names of offenders, dates of conviction, terror group affiliation, federal criminal charges, sentence imposed, state of residence, and immigration history.

    The Center has extracted information on 72 individuals named in the Senate report whose country of origin is one of the seven terror-associated countries included in the vetting executive order: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The Senate researchers were not able to obtain complete information on each convicted terrorist, so it is possible that more of the convicted terrorists are from these countries.

    The United States has admitted terrorists from all of the seven dangerous countries:

    Somalia: 20
    Yemen: 19
    Iraq: 19
    Syria: 7
    Iran: 4
    Libya: 2
    Sudan: 1
    Total: 72

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  4. Sorry but I had to put it into parts
    According to the report, at least 17 individuals entered as refugees from these terror-prone countries. Three came in on student visas and one arrived on a diplomatic visa.

    At least 25 of these immigrants eventually became citizens. Ten were lawful permanent residents, and four were illegal aliens.

    These immigrant terrorists lived in at least 16 different states, with the largest number from the terror-associated countries living in New York (10), Minnesota (8), California (8), and Michigan (6). Ironically, Minnesota was one of the states suing to block Trump's order to pause entries from the terror-associated countries, claiming it harmed the state. At least two of the terrorists were living in Washington, which joined with Minnesota in the lawsuit to block the order.

    Thirty-three of the 72 individuals from the seven terror-associated countries were convicted of very serious terror-related crimes, and were sentenced to at least three years imprisonment. The crimes included use of a weapon of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit a terror act, material support of a terrorist or terror group, international money laundering conspiracy, possession of explosives or missiles, and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

    Some opponents of the travel suspension have tried to claim that the Senate report was flawed because it included individuals who were not necessarily terrorists because they were convicted of crimes such as identity fraud and false statements. About a dozen individuals in the group from the seven terror-associated countries are in this category. Some are individuals who were arrested and convicted in the months following 9/11 for involvement in a fraudulent hazardous materials and commercial driver's license scheme that was extremely worrisome to law enforcement and counter-terrorism agencies, although a direct link to the 9/11 plot was never claimed.

    The information in this report was compiled by Senate staff from open sources, and certainly could have been found by the judges if they or their clerks had looked for it. Another example that should have come to mind is that of Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who attacked and wounded 11 people on the campus of Ohio State University in November 2016. Artan was a Somalian who arrived in 2007 as a refugee.

    President Trump's vetting order is clearly legal under the provisions of section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which says that the president can suspend the entry of any alien or group of aliens if he finds it to be detrimental to the national interest. He should not have to provide any more justification than was already presented in the order, but if judges demand more reasons, here are 72.

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  5. "Southern Neighbour Deemed Not Safe Enough For School Trips From Canada"

    Until you actually read your post then it becomes clear that your headline is simply click bait. It's not "safety" at all, is it?
    It's about an immigration policy. Not personal safety.
    Did you get Kellyanm to write the headline???

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  6. first off let me say I didn't vote for either one of them , or did I vote for your prime minister
    It appears that a lot of Canadians don't like your new prime minister the same as we don't like our new president but you have to remember you got what you got
    You listened to their campaign speeches and you excepted that as your Savior,, so all in all we got what we got,
    So maybe you could point me 2 and American blogger that talks about Canadian system , it would be nice to hear both sides

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  7. The judges have not opposed vetting of immigrants. Most countries do that, Canada included. I, myself and my wife have gone through the process. The court order is against a discriminatory TRAVEL BAN, which caused wide-spread chaos. No system will ever be perfect, but Trumps order was clearly disproportionate to the danger. But let's be clear about this: The entire idea was cooked together with white supremacist Bannon whispering into Trump's ear. Nobody would object if a single person would be barred from entry, if that person is considered dangerous. Trump barred entire countries representing 200 mill people from entering the U.S. And why did he exclude the countries where he is having business relations? Also, it was illegal to stop residents who had green cards and valid visa. His stupid idea of building a wall along the Mexican border shows what's wrong with your president. Over here we call it PARANOIA. (even one of the local U.S. border guards said so to me) Also one should not forget that violence in the U.S. committed by far-right groups and common criminals as well as deranged persons is far greater than a terrorist attack. And thanks to +300 mill guns in private ownership for that. Don't you think that priorities should be put on areas where the biggest problems are, instead of spreading hate and fear throughout the country just to address the few types who might have slipped into the country. Have you ever asked yourself why the U.S. has such a bad international reputation? You won't hear similar things about neither Canada nor Australia. I do perfectly understand that Canadian School Boards refuse to let students travel to the U.S. Over here we have a multinational community who is largely living in peace with each other. A few right wing cells are not a major threat to this country, and would certainly not lead to travel restrictions of any kind. We have a police to take care of bad guys and that is enough.

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    1. Unfortunately I have to go to work. I would like to explore your comment further by where the good Lord did you get white supremacist

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    2. Ed, why don't you start reading main-stream media. Wikipedia also holds interesting infos. It's not good to stick to one source of news only. Stay away from FOX and Breitbart and Infowars, if you want to avoid heavily biased news sources.

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  8. The reality of Trump being elected regardless of the world's perception is a prime example of the existence of Democracy in the USA.
    This poor excuse for a journalist, Doug Schmidt uses heresay as sources for this piece. Of course, if you had a student who was a citizen of Iran, for example, going on a field trip to the USA, a real problem could form. With this ban, no matter how agregious it seems anyone planing a trip like this should have their head examined.
    The "if one can't go, no one can go" policy is some vendictive, Trump hateing school administrator trying to mask their prejudice and intolerance with claims of endangerment. Of course, what parent wants to be thought of as a bad careless parent objecting to this.
    While it was my wish that president Trump wasn't elected, the fact is he was. All this hate and intolerance being spewed by so many Canadians makes me wonder what kind of friends they are.
    I am married to a Canadian, I travel to Canada to visit her relatives who I love dearly. I find the lifestyle there very good. While I don't agree with many aspects of the government intrusion there, I do realize, the sum of all the parts makes it a great place to live and raise children.
    If Canadians want to withhold their dollars and tourism to somehow punish us, it will be their loss.
    Spend your winter there freezing your ass of instead of basking in the warmth the US has to offer without ever having to step on a plane.
    Trump will be gone from the picture before you know it, but my memory of Canadian radicals spewing hate and intolerance will live on.

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    1. Dave, if you try to look at the problem at hand without any political affiliation you must admit that being held up at the border just because your place of birth is in a country Mr. trump hates, would not be very pleasant. And if you think really hard, it might start hate in a young heart. I fully support the school board decision not to subject the students to such treatment. These days even a foreign sounding name can get you stopped at the border. It is very, very sad indeed. You should not be surprised that many, many Canadians are loathing your current government. But the hate is originating not here in Canada, but from across the border. And while that is said, I will hurry to let you know that we have many very nice and friendly friends in the U.S. And that will never change.

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  9. Dave, I think you have that a bit mixed up the hate and intolerance comes from our new president and his cronies,not from Canadians who are appalled at our new government and are only trying to open up a dialouge with Americans.
    I remember a talking horse,Mr Ed....must have had the tv on Fox news in the barn.

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