June 7, 2017
Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen Visits Middle East to Promote Immigration Interests
Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, took a trip to the Middle East last month to promote Canada’s immigration interests with leaders. Mr. Hussen travelled to Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Syria where he visited the grounds of various refugee camps. During his trip, he had the chance to meet and personally connect with Syrian refugees not only as Canada’s Immigration Minister, but as a former refugee who had once been in their shoes.
During his trip, he also met with UAE’s minister for higher education to promote Canada as an educational destination for Emirati students looking to study abroad. Mr Hussen has been outspoken about marketing Canada to International students and speeding up visa processing for them. In Cairo, Mr. Hussen visited Canada’s visa processing center which has been dealing with backlogs and long waiting times. Part of the problem is that they’re having trouble recruiting Canadian visa officers who don’t want to work there because of the security situation in Egypt.
Mr. Hussen’s past is an immigration success story and an inspiring one in its own right. He fled Somalia’s civil war in the early 1990’s and spent days completely exposed in the East African wilderness. Once in Canada he settled in Regent Park where he lived with his two elder brothers. He completed his post-secondary studies in York University, earning a BA in History in 2002 and went on to pursue his law degree from the University of Ottawa.
Throughout his years as a lawyer, human rights advocate and community activist, Mr. Hussen has been able to relate to the stories of hundreds of immigrants who come to Canada in search for a better life. As Canada’s Immigration Minister, he now has the difficult task to balance his hard-won empathy for outsiders with a mandate to ensure the safety and integrity of our borders.