Despite a rise in xenophobia in mainstream Canadian politics, Canada remains remarkable among Western countries for its willingness to accept refugees and people seeking asylum from countries as far as Syria and as close, unfortunately, as the United States.
Debates swirl in the national political dialogue about just how many refugees Canada should accept. People fleeing violent conflicts and persecuting policies, of course, deserve safe places to resettle, and Canadians should welcome them with open arms. But what about other individual who had a hand in those conflicts?
Such is the dilemma Canada now faces as ISIS fighters with links to Canada now seek to return.
The political grip of the Islamic State of Iraq ans Sryia has been all but eradicted from the Middle East. After losing its capital, Raqqa, the original organization quickly disbanded, though related terror groups still dot the region.
At the height of the self-proclaimed caliphate, hundreds of people from Western countries sympathetic to the causes of ISIS travelled east to contribute to its conquering forces.
Now without a strong caliphate, many of those people seek to return. According to Global News, over sixty former ISIS fighters have returned to Canada, with more on the way.
The issue entered political discourse this week as liberal and conservative MPs sparred over the the viability and security risk of accepting those former fighters.
The prime minister argues that Canadian individuals with ties to ISIS undergo thorough rehabilitation. Though, to protect them, the government rightly conceals their identities and locations.
Some are right to raise security questions. Some former ISIS fighters with experience dealing with chemical weapons are of special concern to Canadian security forces, also according to Global News.
So far, no illegal activity has been linked to these individuals since their return.
But one question many have yet to ask is if the former ISIS fighters deserve criminal prosecution for their involvement with the illegal terrorist organization and the war crimes and countless murders it executed.
While immediate resettlements are ongoing, just what should happen to these individuals in the long term is still a matter of debate.