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In Canada, Justin Trudeau Says Refugees Are Welcome

Justin TrudeauOTTAWA — As President Trump’s executive order on immigration stranded people around the world and provoked condemnation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada took to social media to restate the country’s open-door policy.

“To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith,” Mr. Trudeau wrote on Twitter on Saturday afternoon. “Diversity is our strength.”

Another post showed him in photograph with a child, apparently a Syrian refugee who had just arrived, with the caption “#WelcomeToCanada.” The post was shared at least 224,000 times on Twitter.

Mr. Trudeau’s immediate priority after he took office in late 2015 was to drastically accelerate the entry of refugees from Syria. From that point to early January, the latest available figures, his administration has admitted 39,671 refugees into a country with a population of about 36 million.

Cameron Ahmad, Mr. Trudeau’s press secretary, declined to comment on whether the Twitter posts were an indication that Canada may welcome some refugees who now found themselves shut out of the United States.

“The prime minister is looking forward to discussing the success of Canada’s immigration and refugee policies with the president when they next speak,” Mr. Ahmad said.

Any move by Canada to quickly offer asylum to refugees frozen out of the United States would certainly pose logistical problems. And it seems unlikely that the government would put such refugees ahead of a long line of claimants who have already been told they will be allowed into Canada.

Mr. Trump’s executive order is not only at odds with Mr. Trudeau’s policies, but it also does not reflect the general sentiment in Canada, where the Syrian refugee program enjoys widespread support. About 16,000 Syrian refugees who have arrived since November have been wholly or partly sponsored by individual Canadians or groups that have come together to raise sponsorship funds. During Mr. Trudeau’s current cross-country tour, the chief complaint about immigration has been that refugees are not arriving as quickly as would-be sponsors would like.

As a result, Mr. Trudeau’s social media posts may have been primarily aimed at a Canadian audience. He has been taken to task by some Canadians on social media and during his road show for not strongly attacking Mr. Trump’s past remarks on women and his policies, both proposed or already implemented, that conflict with Mr. Trudeau’s political agenda.

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