US and Canadian Immigration Lawyer Andy Semotiuk: I am emphatically in favour of bringing 25,000 Syrian displaced people to Canada. I only want to question the way it is being done. The terrorist attack in France last week shows that security must be at the top of the list.
Any goal Canada sets for itself along these lines is doable. Can we physically transplant 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by December 30th, 2015? Yes – that is doable. But does that mean it is wise for us to do it this way? No. There are priorities that must be addressed first:
- Security clearances
- Medical check ups
- Identity checks
- Past immigration issues
Syrian Refugees to Canada: Security Paramount
For security reasons, we do not want just anyone from Syria to come here because they say they are a “refugee”. It also matters what the cost will be, how well we will handle the task of integrating these people, and who will bear the brunt of dealing with 25,000 new people suddenly on their doorsteps.
We must not stick to some arbitrary deadline just because it was set in the midst of a campaign. Should we resettle Syrian refugees? Yes. But let’s do it right and give ourselves enough time to do it the way it should be done – in an orderly and organized manner.
It’s not like giving ourselves a few more weeks or months will make a large and negative difference. Consider there are Canadian family members who have been waiting for years to have their loved ones join them in Canada for a multitude of reasons. We owe it to them to see that this project is done responsibly, and is not simply a case of whisking people out of the Middle East and into Canada with no care for proper protocols.