Last week, Canada announced plans to fly in 900 Syrian refugees a day starting in December as a message to Islamic State extremists that the country will not turn its back on those in need of help.
“This crisis is not just about a humanitarian project,” Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said of the refugee resettlement last week. “This also sends a great message to ISIS that you might create this environment for us, but we will not let you take advantage of this. By doing our part for this, we are actually hitting ISIS in a different way as well.”
But the plan may not be as defiant as it sounds since it could exclude a specific group of people.
Citing unnamed sources, CBC News reported the federal government will not permit men traveling on their own into Canada to quell security concerns.
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to bring in 25,000 refugees by the end of the year, however, his administration has come under increased pressure to ensure security during the screening process, especially after the terrorist attacks in France.
The Syrian refugee welcome plan, therefore, will permit only women, children and families to come to Canada.
Although the details of the proposal are yet to be revealed, if it is followed through, it would deprive a lot of refugees of asylum since not everyone fleeing the Middle East is accompanied by family members. Furthermore, the plan essentially profiles Arab men as a potential threat to security.
While Trudeau seeks to challenge ISIS by embracing refugees, the decision to exclude helpless men without families might prove to be counterproductive.