World Bulletin / News Desk
Dismissing America’s attempted near-embargo on immigration, Canada has no concern about security risks as it opens its borders to nearly 1 million newcomers in the next three years, the country’s immigration minister said Sunday.
“We don’t have to make a choice between the two (immigration and security),” said Ahmed Hussen. “You can be rigorous in your screening for security, for health, for criminality.”
Canada unveiled the plan last week that includes 310,000 immigrants in 2018. That’s up 10,000 from 2017.
It is, however, significantly less than the 450,000 figure the federal government’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth had recommended.
In contrast, a terror attack Tuesday in New York City had U.S. President Donald Trump exclaiming an “extreme vetting program” would be enhanced for immigrants.
That followed attempted travel ban on immigrants from Muslim countries.
Critics said Trump’s policies have spurred thousands of asylum seekers to cross into Canada from the U.S., but Hussen said that was not the sole reason for the influx.
“It’s more complicated than that,” he told Canadian media during a televised interview Sunday. “It’s not the case for every single asylum seeker. Forty percent of the asylum seekers who were coming through the Quebec border had valid U.S. visas and had been in the U.S. for a very short time. Those were people who were intending to come to Canada regardless. It had nothing to do with U.S. policies.”
Canada’s immigration department processed 35,755 asylum claims between January and September.
Hussen said U.S. officials have not yet voiced any concerns about Canada’s planned immigration numbers.
While there have been criticisms by some Canadian opposition politicians that 1 million immigrants in three years is too high to allow the newcomers to successfully integrate into society, Hussen said that is not true.
Canada manages to integrate immigrants, “better than any other country in the world,” he said.