Immigration Policy and the Terrorist Threat in Canada and the United States

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In June 2007, the Fraser Institute held a conference in Toronto, Ontario, titled, Immigration Policy, Border Controls, and the Terrorist Threat in Canada and the United States. The chapters in this volume, which arose from this conference, raise fundamental questions about weaknesses in Canada's current immigration policies and procedures. Are there adequate measures in place to ensure reasonable levels of security with respect to the large inflows of immigrants and refugee claimants into Canada? Is the American perception of insufficient security checks and controls in the Canadian system a serious concern? Has the Canadian political system failed to establish an appropriate balance between national security interests and the politics of immigration and ethnic vote-shopping? Is the combination of large-scale immigration, limited integration of many newcomers, and the radicalization of individuals being sufficiently addressed in today's public policy? The contributors to this volume identify serious threats and weaknesses in the immigration, asylum, and border regimes from both Canadian and American perspectives. The authors are not opposed to effectively managed immigration or allowing genuine refugees who pose no security threat to enter the country through a well-vetted system. All believe that the vast majority of immigrants pose no danger, but are simply seeking to improve their freedom and prosperity. Nevertheless, given the stakes raised by terrorist attacks, the entry of even a small number of potentially dangerous individuals should warrant major attention and policy review. In the final chapter, the editors review the main flaws and weaknesses in Canada's immigration and asylum systems and outline a broad agenda for how to fix the main weaknesses in Canada's policies.

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