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Girl Guides of Canada Cancels U.S. Trip: Don’t Want to Be ‘Turned Away at the Border’

A Canadian youth group has cancelled its planned trips to the United States ahead of President Donald Trump’s new executive order that goes into effect on Thursday and will temporarily stop certain individuals from terror-torn countries from entering the U.S.

Sarah Kiriliuk, national manager of marketing and communications for the Girl Guides of Canada, said the decision was “absolutely not” political but instead an operational decision made over a “general uncertainty” around Canada-U.S. border travel, the BBC reported.

In a statement, the group said the “ability of all our members to equally enter this country is currently uncertain.”

“We’re diverse, we’re multicultural,” Kiriliuk said. “I don’t want to speak to any one girl or situation, our main priority was making sure our girls who had been planning trips for up to a year sometimes weren’t going to be turned away at the border because of one or more situations that were beyond their control.”

Kiriliuk did not say how many girls, if any, could face a problem at the border because of their ties to the six countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — named in the executive order.

The executive order does not affect travel between Canada and the U.S. unless someone from one of those six countries is entering the U.S. from Canada and has not been granted one of several waivers included in the order.

Data from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security, shows the number of people being denied entry at the Canada-U.S. boundary is roughly the same as previous years, according to the BBC.

“At Girl Guides of Canada, we know our members value the safe, inclusive and accepting space that Guiding provides,” the statement said. “These values are reflected in all we do, including the Girl Guide travel experiences we offer girls and women.

“This was a very difficult decision to make,” the statement said. “We hope that members will appreciate this reflects our commitment to inclusivity and equal opportunities for all girls and women.”

The Girl Guides of Canada has chapters in provinces across the country and some 70,000 members and 20,000 adult female volunteers, according to the BBC.

Some Canadian schools have also cancelled trips to the U.S. in the wake of the travel ban, including the Greater Essex County District School Board in south-western Ontario, the BBC reported.

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