Gold Star father and civil rights activist Khizr Khan was disallowed from traveling from the United States to Canada today, just as Donald Trump was signing the executive order enacting his second Muslim travel ban. The pieces are still coming together as to just what happened to Khan and why. But this much is clear: he was on his way to Toronto to speak out against Trump’s Muslim ban at a conference and on a major Canadian television show.
We do know that Khizr Khan was unable to travel from the U.S. to Canada today because his “travel privileges are being reviewed.” This news was passed along by RamsayTalks, the conference in question, in an official Facebook post. Canadian television station CBC is also confirming via a tweet that Khan had been planning to appear on its morning show tomorrow, but had to cancel due to being disallowed from travel. The CBC also tweeted a quote it received directly from Khan: “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.” But while it is 100% certain that this incident has indeed transpired, it raises more questions than answers as to why it’s transpired.
Khizr Khan is an immigrant from Pakistan, which is not one of the six nations listed on Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban. Moreover, Khan has been a United States citizen for thirty years, and the ban does not apply to U.S. citizens. Nor is there any existing legal mechanism for the U.S. government arbitrarily preventing a U.S. citizen from leaving the U.S., unless there were an extenuating situation such as a warrant.
So if Mr. Khan is to be taken at his word, and based on his track record he should be, then Donald Trump and the United States government are singling out a longtime U.S. citizen for unusual punishment without a legally valid reason – potentially in violation of the Eighth Amendment. It strongly points to Trump illegally attempting to prevent Khan from being able to get to Toronto simply because he was planning to speak out against Trump’s new Muslim ban during the conference and interview – clearly in violation of the First Amendment. Contribute to Palmer Report
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report