Some hard truths no one wants to hear on refugees: Cohn | Toronto Star

An appropriate note of caution in terms of long-term trends:

In the rush to sponsor Syrians to Canada, relatively little is said about supporting the infrastructure of refugee processing handled by the UNHCR in countries bordering Syria. While it may generate fewer headlines at home, not enough thought is being given to the more affordable, sustainable, realistic (if less idealistic) alternative of funding camps closer to war zones, so that refugees can be repatriated more rapidly if those conflicts subside.

We need to open our hearts to the latest wave of Syrian refugees, but we also need to open our minds to what lies ahead. The crisis is unlikely to be temporary. It cannot be resolved with a few thousand more sponsorships and a few million more dollars, as important as those contributions are.

The federal Tories have missed the boat on the latest wave of boat people, but many well-intentioned do-gooder’s have been selling us a bill of goods about the refugee crisis. We need to start thinking about what comes next.

It is good to be principled, but we must also be practical. Mass migrations are at the intersection of war, geopolitics, economics, logistics and human smuggling. They defy easy answers. The reality is that refugee fatigue will set in anew, because the flood never ends — it merely fades from the front pages. What then?

Source: Some hard truths no one wants to hear on refugees: Cohn | Toronto Star

Jon Kay makes similar points:

The morally complex task of determining how many Syrians should be allowed to come to Canada must not be performed through the Tories’ usual practice of reciting jingoistic talking points and slogans. But it also cannot become a no-limit humanitarian bidding war. If we want to preserve the open and generous quality of Canadian society, we must balance our open hearts with hard heads.

Jonathan Kay: Even in face of tragedy, there’s no substitute for a seriously considered immigration policy

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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