Honest talk on immigration needed

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(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

There is a deliberate attempt to stifle debate and silence dissenting voices in today’s political climate. Nowhere is this unfortunate trend more evident than in discussions about immigration and integration.

In Canada, elites in Liberal party circles and the mainstream media are so worried about a “backlash” against the Trudeau government’s open-border agenda, they’re willing to cover up the news and spread false information to protect Trudeau.

When some Conservative MPs raised concerns over the unprecedented surge of illegal border crossings earlier this year, Trudeau’s top aide Gerald Butts tried to intimidate them.

“This will not age well,” wrote Butts in response to an article where MPs called on the Trudeau government to stop illegal border crossings.

Perhaps in a Liberal post-modern future, where there is no Canada, no borders and we’re all global citizens, people would look back unkindly towards those who wanted Canadian immigration laws enforced.

But for now, in 2017, we still have borders and we still have laws. It shouldn’t be a sin to ask our Liberal government to uphold Canada’s longstanding immigration laws.

That was just a taste of what Liberal thought-police had in store for Canadians, particularly those who are skeptical or critical of Trudeau’s fast-track refugee program.

Over the past year and a half, and particularly in the past few weeks, I’ve written a series of articles pointing out the flaws in Trudeau’s rushed approach to refugee resettlement. His fast-track policy undermines Canada’s gold-standard of integration, for crass political purposes.

I’ve dug up data from the government of Canada highlighting, in empirical terms, the failures of Trudeau’s program, including low employment figures, lack of language skills, and government incompetence in skipping important steps needed for security screening and integration programming.

In my column last Saturday, I raised concerns about the very troublesome case of Syrian refugee Mohamad Rafia who pleaded guilty to beating his wife with a hockey stick.

I wrote about this case, not because one bad apple represents the entire Syrian population, no, but because other elements of this story reflect on Trudeau’s broader mismanagement of the refugee file.

The Rafia family came to Canada from Jordan, having escaped Syria years ago. In an Australian documentary about the family, Mohamad Rafia said he felt like a prisoner in Canada and thought about going back to Turkey or Jordan.

In court, Rafia spoke through an interpreter — apparently unable to speak any English despite months of taxpayer-funded language courses. He defended his actions, saying he didn’t know there was a law prohibiting spousal abuse in Canada. His wife also defended his behaviour, saying it is culturally accepted in Syria.

This family is obviously not the norm among Syrian refugees or Muslim immigrants. As readers know, my husband is a Muslim immigrant and his family is one of millions of immigration success stories in Canada.

The Rafia case is noteworthy, however unfortunate, because it touches on many of the concerns with a rushed refugee resettlement program that put optics ahead of outcomes.

Simply writing about this case caused an intense partisan reaction. Many Liberals decided it was unfair and wrong for me to cover.

I disagree. In Canada, we should be able to criticize the government for a poorly executed program. We should be able to discuss topics that may be uncomfortable without Liberals trying to bully us into silence.

Our immigration program...(READ MORE)