In the midst of fear and confusion surrounding Donald Trump’s travel ban, a school board in Toronto has suspended student and staff trips to the United States. Concerned by how the U.S. immigration policy may affect their students, the school board’s director of education stated that
“we strongly believe our students should not be placed in these situations of potentially being turned away at the border.”
Although Canada is not included on the list of banned countries, the school board has expressed unease concerning citizens of the six Muslim-majority countries who are living in Canada, as they may be denied entry into the United States.
The school board has agreed to proceed with the 24 trips to the U.S. that were already planned, however, in the event that the Executive Order is fully implemented and any student is excluded from a trip across the border, already-approved trips to the U.S. will be canceled and the board will reimburse students, parents and staff for the cost of the trips. Until further notice, no new trips to the United States will be planned.
The Girl Guides of Canada, an organization similar to the American Girl Scouts, has also suspended trips to the United States. National manager of marketing and communications for the Girl Guides of Canada, Sarah Kiriliuk, stated that the decision to cancel U.S. trips was made to ensure the safety and inclusion of everyone in their organization, rather than to make a political statement. Kiriliuk expanded on the reasons for their decision, saying “We’re diverse. We’re multicultural. I don’t want to speak to any one girl or situation, our main priority was making sure our girls who had been planning trips for up to a year sometimes weren’t going to be turned away at the border because of one or more situations that were beyond their control.”
These are just two of the many organizations who have been faced with decisions concerning how to handle Donald Trump’s travel ban, showing that those living in the six banned countries are not the only ones affected.