Society

Khizr Khan Cites Travel Ban As Cause For Canceled Trip

| by Oren Peleg

On March 6, Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who rose to national attention during the Democratic National Convention in July 2016, released a statement noting the effects of the travel ban on himself. Khan is an American citizen of 30 years, but was born in Pakistan.

My “travel privileges are being reviewed," Khan stated March 6, the same day President Donald Trump's revised travel ban executive order was released, notes The Washington Post. Khan was set to speak at an event in Toronto, but canceled because of the alleged review of his permission to travel.

“This turn of events is not just of deep concern to me but to all my fellow Americans who cherish our freedom to travel abroad,” Khan added in a message posted by the Toronto event's organizer, Ramsay Talks, to its Facebook page. “I have not been given any reason as to why. I am grateful for your support and look forward to visiting Toronto in the near future.”

"Late Sunday evening Khizr Khan, an American citizen for over 30 years, was notified that his travel privileges are being reviewed," a post by the group Ramsay Talks added in its own statement. “As a consequence, Mr. Khan will not be traveling to Toronto on March 7th to speak about tolerance, understanding, unity and the rule of law. Very regretfully, Ramsay Talks must cancel its luncheon with Mr. Khan. Guests will be given full refunds.”

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"We are unaware of any restrictions regarding this traveler,” said Camielle Edwards, spokeswoman for Ahmed Hussen, Canada's immigration minister.

Politico notes that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials do not, by standard protocol, contact travelers before traveling. In general, the U.S. government does not prevent citizens from traveling unless they have been charged with a crime. Records do not show that Khan has been charged with any crimes.

“With respect to Global Entry or trusted traveler membership, CBP’s engagement is about the status of membership in the program, not any particular travel itself,” an official with CBP said. “Of course, any U.S. citizen with a passport may travel without trusted traveler status. All individuals are subject to inspection departing or upon arrival to the United States.”

According to CTV, neither Trump's Jan. 27 executive order restricting travel, nor his March 6 revision, include citizens of Pakistan. The original order included Syrian, Somali, Iraqi, Iranian, Sudanese, Yemeni and Libyan travelers. The revised order excludes Iraqis.  

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The ban has widely been called a "Muslim ban" because all of the countries on the list have a majority of Muslim citizens. Khan is a Muslim, as was his son, Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq in 2004 while serving in the U.S. Army.

Sources: The Washington Post, Politico, CTV, Ramsay Talks/Facebook / Photo credit: Hillary Clinton/YouTube

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