Travel bans hurting students

There are new questions facing school boards and organizations planning trips for students to the United States.
Is it safe to travel to that country? And will all of the students and participants be able to cross the border given the new immigration orders signed by U.S. President Donald Trump?
It also is a question being asked by millions of Canadians who traditionally have travelled to the U.S. to vacation in Florida, Arizona, Texas, and California.
Others who cross the border at International Falls, Emerson, Buffalo, and other border communities to shop at northern U.S. malls and outlets are wondering, too, if they will be able to safely cross into the U.S.
In previous years, there never was any question from schools and groups like the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides that learning trips to Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago were beneficial and safe.
But on Monday, the Girl Guides of Canada announced that organization no longer would approve travel to the U.S.
“At Girl Guides of Canada, we know our members value the safe, inclusive, and accepting space that Guiding provides,” it said in a statement. “These values are reflected in all we do, including the Girl Guide travel experiences we offer girls and women.
“While the United States is a frequent destination for Guiding trips, the ability of all our members to equally enter this country is currently uncertain.”
The ban included a trip to the nationally-sponsored camp in California, as well as flights from U.S. airports.
The Girl Guides are not the first group to cancel trips to the U.S. Several schools from all provinces have debated about continuing trips there. A Winnipeg high school track team cancelled a trip to the Twin Cities because there was concern whether or not all its members would be able to cross the border.
Many Canadians with Muslim names, both those born in Canada and naturalized, have been detained or refused entry into the U.S. following Mr. Trump’s executive order.
It is projected that Canadians will make 6.1 million fewer visits to the U.S. in 2017 than they did in 2016. The decision not to travel to the U.S. probably is both a consequence of the Canadian dollar in relationship to U.S. currency and the issue of the travel ban.
The cost to the US economy will run into billions of dollars as Canadians redirect their travel decisions to other countries, including Mexico, Cuba, Australia, and Europe. U.S. cities with major shopping opportunities bordering near Canada will face the largest loss of revenue.
It is unfortunate that students travelling for sporting and educational opportunities in the U.S. are falling victim to the new immigration rules there that target a certain religious group.
It is understandable that organizations believe in inclusiveness of members, and will not deny youth to travel because of their religious or nationality backgrounds.

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