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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Greets Syrian Refugees at the Airport

Canada shows the world how it’s done.

Image via Facebook

“You are home,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a group of 163 refugees after they disembarked from a 16-hour flight from Beirut, Lebanon, late Thursday. Trudeau, who was elected in October, was one of the first to welcome the Syrian asylum seekers to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport—and Canada.

“You’re safe at home now,” the prime minister said.

The 163 refugees are just the first of 25,000 Syrians the Canadian government has agreed to take in by March. The plan to welcome the asylum seekers has been greeted warmly by the Canadian public.

Online, Canadian citizens used the hashtags #WelcomeToCanada and #WelcomeRefugees on Twitter Thursday and Friday, offering hearty greetings to the country’s newest residents.

Image via Twitter

Image via Twitter

“We get to show the world how to open our hearts and welcome in people who are fleeing extraordinarily difficult situations,” Trudeau said in remarks Thursday.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne was also on hand Thursday night to distribute new winter coats to the just-arrived Syrians.

The actions of the very attractive Canadian politicians only look more generous when compared to others’ responses to the refugee crisis. A little further south, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is currently embroiled in controversy over his latest policy suggestion: barring all Muslims from entering the United States, regardless of refugee status.

The Obama administration has said it will accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016.

Back in Canada, a number of the 163 refugees who arrived in Toronto Thursday told The Globe and Mail they were grateful to the country for giving them a second chance at a peaceful life.

“We really would like to thank you for all this hospitality and the warm welcome and all the staff—we felt ourselves at home and we felt ourselves highly respected,” Kevork Jamkossian told Trudeau. Jamkossian’s family—he, his wife, and their 16-month-old daughter—was the first to disembark from the flight from Beirut.

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