US President Donald Trump’s swift enactment of a controversial travel ban, singling out refugees from nations with suspected ties to terrorism, has produced vocal reactions from world leaders. Canada’s governing administration appears to be leaning in an opposite direction as the US. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, using the same social media platform his US counterpart is so fond of, tweeted to those “fleeing persecution in Syria”, that they would be “welcome in Canada”.
Comparing Apples to Oranges
People who feel compelled to point fingers, shouting “see what he, or she is doing”, must be cautious not to compare apples to oranges. With all respect to the Canadian prime minister, those who want to compare Canada’s open door policy towards immigrants, especially refugees, must consider more than just the empathetic idea of a huge “welcome refugees” banner hanging at every border crossing.
Canada has a longstanding tradition of conveying gracious humanitarianism. There are two main parts of the Canadian refugee policy. One element is the Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program for people requesting protection from countries outside of Canada, which was written to deal specifically with what is transpiring now.
This is the policy that Justin Trudeau echoes when he claims that Canada will be sensitive towards the refugee problem. His kind gesture towards embattled refugees is simply a reflection of policies already enacted by the Canadian government. While it is truly a noble gesture, when comparing one nation’s immigration policy to another, consideration must be given to differences that affect each country’s choice.
Canada should respect the contributions of all their military personnel who protect Canadian citizens. But, while Canada’s armed forces support many global causes, protecting humanity on the world stage, no nation radiates the same military intensity as the United States of America.
The US military is the most visible and noteworthy defender of global freedoms. Extremist regimes are compelled to target the forces that they feel are the most oppressive to their radical ideologies. Justin Trudeau is entrusted with governing a fine nation, with an excellent military reputation, but to think that Canadian soil is as susceptible to violently radical assaults is simply not realistic.
One obvious consequence of being the world’s most visible protector is that it exposes the US to radical extremists attempting to show their strength. Because the United States portrays such a strong military presence in the world, it is reasonable to expect it needs to be more vigilant with policies designed to protect the population within its borders.
Probability of Retaliation
Since the United States is a primary target for extremist retaliation, the probability of violent attacks on its citizens is greater. Governments must do everything they can to provide protection. When the likelihood of terrorist violence is higher, this must be considered when making policies. Sometimes it may even be imperative to drastically change policy.
The primary aim of nearly every terrorist act is to kill innocent people. With a population density nearly 30 times that of Canada, the United States is inherently a more viable target for a terrorist assault with the primary goal being a high death toll.
When both the US military presence on the world stage and the population density of the country, the United States has a far higher chance of being the target of radical extremists, therefore a far more rigid policy towards refugees is understandable.
One Size Does Not Fit All
The policy of one nation cannot automatically be assumed to be the best policy for another. Justin Trudeau has vocalized Canada’s longstanding governmental policy towards refugees seeking relief inside the Canadian border. It is a most noble gesture. But, critics who feel the United States should mirror such sentiments must take into account some the vast differences between the two nations involvement on the world stage.
Image source: here