Headliner: Is Canada the world's refugee role model?

The issue of immigration continues to divide public opinion around the world, but the Canadian government says it is charting a different course. Canada is regarded as a role model for its acceptance and treatment of immigrants at a time when many countries are closing their borders and anti-refugee sentiment is high.

When asked, however, why the number of refugees went down from 55,000 to 40,000 in 2017 in the midst of an ongoing and massive global refugee crisis, the country's Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, says: "2016 was an exceptional year because of the Syrian refugee response.  We always knew that would be an exceptional year. But if you take out that year and you compare 2017 with our previous years, you will see that the numbers are higher."  

With regards to US President Donald Trump's travel ban, Hussen doesn't believe a similar policy would be put forward in Canada.

"I would call it a wrong-headed policy if the opposition in Canada proposed such a measure, but I don't think they would," says Hussen.

In this week's Headliner, we speak with Ahmed Hussen, a former Somali refugee who now serves as Canada's Immigration Minister, about the country's ambitious immigration policy.

Special Discussion: Is the US covering up civilian deaths in Iraq?

The United States claims the war on ISIL is "one of the most precise air campaigns in history," saying that only one in every 157 airstrikes in Iraq results in a civilian death.

A recent New York Times investigation, however, found that civilians in Iraq are actually dying at 31 times that rate. So, why do so many of their deaths remain uncounted?

"What we found is that in about half of the total airstrikes...that resulted in civilian deaths, of those civilian death airstrikes, half of them were the result of poor or outdated intelligence, most likely. We were unable to discern an ISIS target nearby," says Azmat Khan, co-author of the New York Times Magazine investigation, The Uncounted.

"I came to the conclusion that many internally know that these numbers are vastly wrong, and have done very little to try to correct them".

John Tirman, Executive Director at MIT's Center for International Studies and author of the book, The Deaths of Others: The Fate of Civilians in America's Wars, says: "I think it's the unwillingness to confront the horror of what has occurred on the ground that creates this turning away and indifference, basically."

In this special discussion, Azmat Khan and John Tirman shed light on whether the US military is lying about the real impact of its airstrikes in Iraq.

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Source: Al Jazeera