While Canada Welcomes Refugees, Its Door Is Far From Wide Open

Some refugee groups, however, had called on the government to follow the example of many European countries in the crisis and simply open...

Some refugee groups, however, had called on the government to follow the example of many European countries in the crisis and simply open the border to Ukrainians, allowing them to come to Canada without a visa.

Randall Hansen, a political scientist at the University of Toronto who studies global migration, told me that abandoning visas would have represented a sea change in Canadian immigration policy. While Canada admits large numbers of immigrants in all categories, “all immigration is vetted, controlled, managed,” Professor Hansen said.

The result, he said, is that Canada often gets more credit for welcoming immigrants and refugees than the statistics suggest. Mr. Trudeau, he noted, received worldwide attention for his program which, in a relatively short time, admitted approximately 51,000 refugees from Syria. “Then the door slammed immediately,” he said.

He compared Canada’s Syrian program to that of Germany, where about 1.2 million refugees were admitted under a system with relatively few checks.

“These kind of gestures that made it seem like in the world you could put Germany and Canada in a box and take either one out and it didn’t matter what you chose – they were both also liberal,” he said. “It’s just absurd.”

Geography, he said, has been key to allowing Canada to control who enters. The only place people can reach the country on foot, the United States is the destination of choice for most immigrants and most refugees who are ready for resettlement, Professor Hansen said. So people arriving in Canada usually board a plane with a valid visa, an impossibility for the world’s most desperate refugees, he added.

“Why do they want to keep the visas?” asked Professor Hansen. “They are fundamental to this control paradigm. This means that only educated, skilled and wealthy people can fly for another reason and then claim asylum when they can get here.

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Newsrust - US Top News: While Canada Welcomes Refugees, Its Door Is Far From Wide Open
While Canada Welcomes Refugees, Its Door Is Far From Wide Open
Newsrust - US Top News
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