NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is urging the Prime Minister to tell Donald Trump to allow all Canadians to cross the U.S. border when he sits down with the new President at the White House on Monday.
Mr. Mulcair has written a letter to Justin Trudeau, obtained by The Globe and Mail, that also makes the case for the PM to stand up for Canadians "who are resoundingly opposed to Mr. Trump's travel ban."
Government officials say the PM has no intention of criticizing the U.S. administration's ban on Syrian refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.
"As Prime Minister, you represent the views and interest of Canadians on the world stage. Canadians are resoundingly opposed to Mr. Trump's travel ban and you are therefore duty-bound to express Canada's opposition to these policies," Mr. Mulcair wrote.
"We would like you to draw specific attention to the cases of Canadian families and individuals prevented from entering the United States in order to gain assurances from President Trump that this would not happen."
The Prime Minister's Office has not responded to question from The Globe on whether Mr. Trudeau would raise during the White House talks the issue of Canadians or permanent residents who have been denied entry into the United States.
Mr. Mulcair noted in his letter that Fadwa Alaoui, a Muslim Canadian born in Morocco, and Yassine Aber, a 19-year-old student of the University of Sherbrooke, Que., who was born in Canada, were denied entry into the U.S. in recent days – even after U.S. assurances that Canadians would not be affected by Mr. Trump's ban.
"Your government made assurances that Canadians and those with permanent residence status would not be negatively impacted by these discriminatory bans,' Mr. Mulcair wrote. "Since that claim, and despite the fact that the American judicial system has suspended these travel bans, it has been abundantly clear Canadians are being impacted."
Mr. Mulcair added: "Canadians need a guarantee that they will not face discrimination at our borders. On Monday, when you will meet with President Trump, we implore you to draw attention to these issues."
U.S. courts have issued an order to suspend the ban and the Trump administration is now weighing its options on how to proceed.
Stephen Miller, Mr. Trump's chief policy adviser and one of the architects of the order, maintained in a round of Sunday TV interviews that the President has sweeping executive authority when it comes to barring foreigners he deems pose a risk to the country. He said Mr. Trump will do "whatever we need to do, consistent with the law, to keep this country safe" and slammed judges who've stood in his way.
"This is a judicial usurpation of the power. It is a violation of judges' proper roles in litigating disputes. We will fight it," Mr. Miller said in an interview on Fox News Sunday.
As for the administration's next steps, Mr. Miller said that "all options" remain on the table," including a Supreme Court appeal. Mr. Trump said on the plane ride to Florida on Friday that he was considering signing a "brand new order" as early as Monday to try to bypass the legal challenges.
The comments come amid an outcry from immigration activists over an "enforcement surge" by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers that officials say is targeting immigrants who are in the country illegally and have criminal records.
Advocacy groups contend the government has rounded up large numbers of people as part of stepped-up enforcement. The agency calls the effort no different from enforcement actions carried out in the past.
But Mr. Trump and Mr. Miller appeared eager to take credit for the action.
"The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!" Mr. Trump tweeted.
With reports from The Associated Press