Anyone can pass it. It’s only a matter of time. While our authorities wring their hands over islamofauxbia, this is the kind of problem they should be addressing.
CIJnews recently met with Mustafa (a pseudonym), a Syrian refugee resettled in 2016 in the Greater Toronto Area, who provided information about the security screening by the Canadian authorities based on his own experience. According to Mustafa:
He and his family moved from Syria to one of the neighbouring countries, rented an apartment, found a job and registered as refugees at UNHCR office.
The security screening interview with Canadian officials lasted at most 50 minutes. He and other three adult members of his family were questioned together with the help of a translator about their military service (nature of the service, units, name of commanders), possible connections with armed groups etc. Their cellphones were taken and searched during the interview.
Immediately after the interview his family was told that their application for a refugee status in Canada was approved in principle and few weeks later they received the official approval.
The security screening was a “joke” (كلام فاضي). Anyone can pass it, even operatives of terrorist groups. Syrian nationals who were involved in human and weapon trafficking also came to Canada as refugees. Some are rich and brought with them a lot of money in cash.
Another Syrian refugee, who resettled in the Toronto Greater Area, told CIJnews few months ago a similar story:
About two weeks after applying for immigration to Canada, he, his wife and two young children were invited for an interview with a Canadian official.
All members of the family were interviewed together. In less than an hour the Canadian official assisted by a translator repeated the same questions they were asked in a previous interview at the UNHCR office.
After the interview they were sent for a physical health examination, including blood samples and x-rays.
Ten or eleven days later, the refugee was informed that his application was approved and that he and his family are eligible for immigration to Canada as Government-sponsored refugees.
The read the security questions the Syrian refugees are asked before arriving in Canada click here.
Since Trudeau government assumed power in November 2015, Canada resettled (data as of October 2, 2016) 31,919 Syrian refugees, including 16,875 government-assisted refugees, 3,233 blended visa Office-referred refugees and 11,811 privately sponsored refugees.
In an interview to Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait (March 2016), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reassured that all of the Syrian refugees went through an “extensive security screening.”
The following is a transcript of Trudeau’s answer to a question on possible security concerns with relation to the Syrian refugees:
“Syrian refugees are fleeing terrorism and as people who know the Middle East know that Syria has always been historically a country of well educated, thoughtful engaged successful middle class and there are a lot of pharmacists and bankers and professionals among these Syrian refugees just looking to start a new life, start it over from scratch, but create opportunities for their children that are simply no longer existing in Syria.
“And … yes to take the security concerns seriously, meaning each one of these 25,000 refugees who welcomed in are went through an extensive security screening, and security will always remain a concern but there was never either or between security and welcoming refugees. We’ve always being able to do that together and we intend to to do that.”
Speaking to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration on March 10, 2016, John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said that Canada made the right decision welcoming Syrian refugees in light of the refugee crisis that “is tearing apart the European Union.”
McCallum also reassured Canadians that the selection of refuges and the security screening were conducted with “very high standard” that minimized security risks. The following are excerpts of McCallum’s statements:
“Well, I never promised 50,000, but we’ll pass that by… It was certainly right for us to give priority to the Syrian refugee crisis, because this is the worst refugee crisis the world has seen in decades.
“There are literally millions of displaced people as a consequence. It is tearing apart the European Union, and so it is right for Canada to step up to the plate and welcome 25,000 government-assisted refugees. I do not apologize for that; I am proud of it
“I’m convinced that we have done a good job on security. You don’t really need to take my word for it. The head of the RCMP, the head of CSIS, and the head of border services have all professed satisfaction with the way in which they’re doing security.
“Also, in my conversations with the Secretary for Homeland Security in the United States and the U.S. ambassador, both are concerned about security, but neither expressed concerns about our approach. They seem to be satisfied.
“How did we do it? I think we had some 500 people mobilized in that region, some of whom were doing security interviews. We deliberately brought over some of our most experienced officials. They conducted interviews with each and every group, and they also took biometric evidence, which was correlated with U.S. databases. I think that’s one reason U.S. authorities were satisfied.”