Back in December 2014, Canada said they would accept Christian (and other minority) Syrians over Muslims and all hell broke loose. They were beaten over the head in the media by the human rights industrial complex. So, I’m wondering if this proposed new policy on Syrian refugees does the same thing by loosening Canada’s apron strings to the UNHCR.
Here is the news at the Wall Street Journal:
TORONTO—The Canadian government said Saturday that it will accelerate the processing of Syrian refugees to resettle 10,000 in the country by September 2016, more than a year ahead of its original target, as it contends with criticism over its response to the resettlement crisis.
In January, the Canadian government said it would resettle 10,000 Syrians over a three-year period. But faced with mounting pressure to work faster, the ruling Conservative Party now plans to complete the process 15 months earlier by designating all Syrians who have fled their home country as “prima facie” refugees. That means Canada will no longer require proof of official United Nations documentation to accept them as refugees, shortening the review process and broadening the pool of refugees Canadian groups can sponsor, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced at a press conference.
I read that to mean that Canadian immigration authorities could pluck Christians and other religious minority refugees from where ever they are hiding right now, not having to pick from an approved UNHCR list.
At the same time, Mr. Alexander stressed security screening of refugees remains a government priority.
Election year issue!
The incumbent Conservatives are in the throes of a tight three-way election campaign ahead of an Oct. 19 vote. Polling suggests its response to the refugee crisis, while facing heavy criticism among his political rivals, hasn’t played a role in eroding support.
Mr. Harper has said there is no “refugee-based solution” to the conflict in Syria, and added Western allies must plan for a long-term military presence in the region to defeat Islamic State. He’s also warned of the security risk to Canada of immediately taking on additional refugees without proper security screening.
Unlike the US 2016 Presidential debate this past week, in Canada they actually uttered the words “Syrian refugees.”
In a party leaders’ debate this past week, Mr. Harper accused his political rivals of having a “reckless approach” on Syrian refugees, as they are content to “throw open our borders and let in hundreds of thousands of people without any kind of security check.” His main rivals accused Mr. Harper of fear mongering, and demanded he stop using the issue of security to limit Canada’s role.
I see the US resettlement contractors and the media latching on to the 10,000 Syrians in one year figure and using it to say that the US can take many more than 10,000 without noticing the distinction being made by this policy that would, by taking mostly Christians, reduce the security concerns greatly for Canada (although it will still be expensive!).