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    First Syrian Refugee family landed in Toronto. December 9, 2015

    Official Scoffs at Washington's Fears Over Canadian Plan to Take Refugees

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    Washington reportedly wants reassurances that Canada will not take any "shortcuts" during the implementation of its plan to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees.

    Canada's plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees was high on the agenda of a US Senate committee hearing, with lawmakers urging Canada to reassure that it will not take any "shortcuts", media reports said.

    Committee chair Ron Johnson delivered a speech during Wednesday's gathering which heard from four witnesses, including a US border patrol guard and three Canadians, according to the Canadian news network CBC.

    "Will there be shortcuts taken? Is that something that really ought to concern Americans here, as Canada is really ramping up… [and] admitting a much higher level of refugees than they are normally taking in and at a much faster pace," Johnson said.

    The hearing came shortly after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that all Muslims should be banned from entering the US, while several American lawmakers voted to prohibit Syrian refugees from entering their states.

    Canadian Minister of Immigration John McCallum, right, speaks with a Syrian family inside their tent, during his visit to a refugee camp in the southern town of Ghaziyeh, near the port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015
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    Canadian Minister of Immigration John McCallum, right, speaks with a Syrian family inside their tent, during his visit to a refugee camp in the southern town of Ghaziyeh, near the port city of Sidon, Lebanon, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015

    Canadian Immigration Minister John McCallum has, meanwhile, pointed to the fact that no major concerns emerged during the Wednesday hearing's testimonies.

    In an interview with CBC, he expressed confidence that "we have a proper security approach," noting that "we have explained it in detail to our US counterparts and they have not expressed any concerns."

    "So perhaps this is a little bit of political theater in Washington," McCallum added.

    In late November, Canada's new government said that it plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015, and another 15,000 by the end of February 2016.

    The country's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had originally planned to resettle all 25,000 refugees by December 31, but he had to change the schedule after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13.

    McCallum said in turn that Canada could resettle a total of 50,000 refugees by the end of 2016.

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    Tags:
    hearing, shortcuts, lawmakers, refugees, security, John McCallum, Justin Trudeau, Canada, United States
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