Latvian Canadian starts Muslim housing initiative following Trump order

Following the executive order of US president Donald Trump suspending refugee resettlement and blocking individuals from seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the US, Liva Zemitis, a Canadian of Latvian descent, was among the people who set up a group in Toronto overnight to house people stranded in the city's airport, reported LTV Tuesday.

The group, Trump's Executive Order Housing Help, invited people stranded by the executive order to stay at their homes. 

"When I read in the 'New York Times' that it's really happening, without any time for people to make plans, I was simply very, very unhappy. Especially because my grandparents themselves were refugees from Latvia during the second world war," said Liva Zemitis.

About five hundred people have joined the group shortly after it was set up, but Canadian authorities quickly announced they'd help anyone affected by the ban.

"We've written to the mayor of Toronto, our parliamentarians in Canada and to the Immigration Minister and told we're very happy that no one is stuck anymore, but if they need help, here are 600 people ready to provide assistance," said Zemitis.

Zemitis is one of the c. 30,000 people of Latvian descent living in Canada.

The executive order signed by US president Donald Trump cracked down on US visa-holders from seven predominantly Muslim countries, with detentions made in airports as travelers who were already en route to the US were told upon landing that they could not enter the country for 90 days. 

The order also barred all refugees from entering the US for four months, and halted admitting refugees from Syria.

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