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BTL:...Canada Warns Some of Its Foreign-Born Citizens Not to Travel to U.S.

In Post-9/11 Climate, Canada Warns Some of Its Foreign-Born Citizens Not to Travel to U.S.
In Post-9/11 Climate, Canada Warns Some of Its Foreign-Born Citizens Not to Travel to U.S.

Interview with Michael Ratner, president for the Center for Constitutional Rights,
conducted by Scott Harris

When Maher Arar, a man holding joint Canadian-Syrian citizenship changed planes at New York's Kennedy airport on Sept. 26, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service detained and eventually deported him to Syria. The action by the U.S. State Department prompted the Canadian government to protest and issue an unprecedented travel advisory, warning their citizens who were born in several Middle East and South Asian countries targeted by the U.S. for anti-terror scrutiny, to avoid traveling to America.

A Canadian foreign affairs department official, Reynald Doiron, charged that the U.S. policy is discriminatory because it targets citizens based on where they were born. Canada believes that their citizens should be exempt from new measures established by Washington one year after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The U.S. National Security Entry Exit Registration System authorizes the INS to photograph, fingerprint, and closely monitor visitors to America who were born in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Sudan.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with attorney Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights about these new U.S. travel regulations and the balance between legitimate security concerns and the rights of foreign nationals who visit America.

Contact the Center for Constitutional Rights at (212) 614-6464 or visit the group's website at www.ccr-ny.org

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