While Some Build Walls, Canada Opens Doors to Migrants
Canada, with 35 million inhabitants (20.7% are immigrants, mostly Asian) and a generous system of aid, is consolidated as a reference in the reception of foreigners, a policy that received a strong impulse with the coming to power of the Progressive candidate Justin Trudeau. His massive reception plan has resulted in the arrival of 39,670 Syrian refugees in the last 15 months.
Among these rrefugees is Vanig Garabedian, a 48-year-old Syrian physician, that has become a celebrity in Canada. Upon landing in Toronto in December 2015, Justin Trudeau met him at the airport. A few weeks ago he made the prime minister cry in an act in which he counted his first year in the country. "I really feel at home, acting like a Canadian. Also my daughters,"he said.
Garabedian's trip from Aleppo to Canada was financed by Apkar Mirakian, a 76 year old Lebanese from Toronto. This kind of private refugee sponsor is a unique figure in Canada that allows citizens or entities to finance the arrival of a refugee after being approved by the Government.
The sponsor agrees to give the same assistance as the Government to other refugees: for a maximum of one year grants a subsidy, pays the house and assists him in finding work and school. If after that period is not self-sufficient, you can opt for public subsidies.
Since November 2015, Trudeau's reinforcement of the national open-door policy (begun in 1960) comes at a time when the United States of Donald Trump and Europe, overwhelmed and fearful by the wave of Middle Eastern refugees, take steps in the opposite direction. And when in Canada, like other Western countries, Islamophobia grows. The most serious example, on January 29, when a white young man shot dead six Muslim immigrants in a terrorist attack on a mosque in Quebec.
As reported in El País.