Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father whose speech at the Democratic National Convention made headlines, claimed on Monday that his “travel privileges are being reviewed,” forcing him to cancel a scheduled speech in Toronto, Canada. The announcement coincided with President Trump’s rewritten executive order on immigration, which temporarily bans immigrants from six majority-Muslim countries.
“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 said, according to Ramsay Talks, the organizer of the event he was set to speak at. “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.”
Many, including Ramsay Talks, took the father at his word. However, the claim raised doubts for many others because Khan has been a United States citizen for over 30 years and is originally from Pakistan, which is not one of the six nations included in the revised travel ban. Khan has not elaborated on his original statement, leaving people wondering how an American citizen could possibly be stopped from traveling.
“I don’t know exactly who conducted the review, but in speaking with Mr. Khan, it was certainly U.S. authorities,” Bob Ramsay of Ramsay Talks said on Tuesday. “That’s all I know.”
According to The Washington Post, American citizens do not need visas to travel to Canada, and the United States cannot prevent people with passports from traveling unless they have committed a crime, which public records show Khan has not. Furthermore, U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Politico that it typically does not contact travelers prior to their trips. The Canadian foreign ministry has also denied issuing a review of his ability to travel to the country.