Refugees and security in Canada

Refugees and others seeking protection in Canada are not threats to security – they are seeking security and protection from threats to their own lives.

It is far more difficult to enter Canada as a refugee than as a visitor. The refugee determination process involves security checks by CSIS and the RCMP, fingerprinting and interviews. It is not likely that a person intending to commit a violent act would expose themselves to such detailed examinations. Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act excludes refugee claimants and temporary residence permit applicants if they are found to be inadmissible on the basis of security, serious criminality, organized criminality or human rights violations.

Previous refugee resettlement efforts, including the emergency  airlift of 5,000 Kosovars in 1999, have not resulted in any major security concerns.

(source: Refugees and others seeking protection pose very little risk to Canada's security)

"We appreciate that the world has changed. We share concerns about the protection of the security of Canadians in the post-Sept. 11 world – but security cannot be an excuse for inertia. In addition to providing adequate screening personnel in the field, security risks can be mitigated by a focus on women at risk, families with children, and families with Canadian connections."

- Open letter to Stephen Harper, signed by former ministers, deputy ministers and other government officials

"Those refugees will tell you anybody that's different, anybody they suspect of having violent intentions or being a terrorist or being inserted into those crowds, and we can easily do the assessment....

"We've got to stop being frightened of our own shadow. You know, we live in a dangerous world. We handle it pretty well."

- retired general Rick Hiller 

For more on refugees and security in Canada, see:

Are Syrian refugees really a threat to Canadian security?

Syrian refugees aren’t a terrorist threat

Mr. Harper, think big on the refugee crisis

Rick Hillier says military can help bring in 50,000 refugees by Christmas