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It's wrong to shut door on European refugees

posted Mar 18, 2012, 3:15 PM by Milorad Borota   [ updated Mar 18, 2012, 3:16 PM ]
By Catherine Dauvergne, Vancouver Sun February 28, 2012

Last week's new immigration omnibus bill takes aim at refugees from supposedly safe places, like Europe. It is ironic that refugees from Europe are now the most suspect. The current legal definition of a refugee was created in the aftermath of the Second World War. Until the mid-1960s, only Europeans could be refugees.

There are three things wrong with targeting refugees from Europe. Each one of them is complicated, so they make bad sound-bite politics.

The first is that despite the existence of the European Union, Europe remains a variety of different nations. Conditions in those nations vary enormously. This is common sense for any-one familiar with the rolling waves of European financial woes. Despite the blanket of human rights protections now in place at the European level, access to those rights is uneven. Some individuals have utterly inadequate rights protections, which is why some Roma are found to be refugees, in Canada and elsewhere, every year.

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