Refugees Welcome -- A Letter Campaign
Subject: refugees welcome
Dear Mr. Alexander and (your own MP) –
Finally the refugee crisis has quite properly turned into a domestic political crisis. It’s beyond belief that only 2,300 Syrians have been settled in Canada (some of them, if not the majority, privately sponsored) even though the crisis has been building for years. It may be only Britain that has done worse than us, having settled only 166.
At a very late date, just last month, Canada agreed to take 10,000 from both Iraq and Syria. Does Minister Alexander understand that Canada took 35,000 refugees from Hungary in 1956, and 60,000 far more recently, during the Indochinese crisis? Why are we being so stinting in our efforts to assist Syrian refugees, who are in great distress in refugee camps throughout the Middle East, or are on the road or stuck in train stations or behind razor wire fences?
I am writing to urge that the government work with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and with the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) to reassess our participation in the global response to the crisis, to increase our commitment to Syrian refugees if necessary, and to find ways to reduce the bureaucracy that’s in the way of getting people off the beaches and into our own country. CCR has stated the government should assign more visa officers in camps in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon; that some regulations should be suspended which prevent processing refugees who are now in Europe; that Syrians in Canada should be able to arrange interim family unifications.
Coordinated action is required. Time is of the essence.