OTTAWA—I have been a supporter of Amnesty International and its work for decades. I admire the positions it adopts and the advocacy it employs in the interests of prisoners of conscience, among other good work. But I have not always agreed with Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada. He has often been critical of our national security architecture—his defence of Omar Khadr as a ‘child soldier’ is just one example—as is his right. Organizations such as CSIS and the RCMP need their gadfly, but his recent take on the problems with Canada’s visa immigration system is beyond reason. In a recent op-ed for The Globe and Mail, Neve took issue with what he sees as unnecessary complications in securing visitors’ visas for those who happen to live in certain countries. By his count, there are “54 countries around the world whose nationals are visa-exempt if they wish to travel to Canada. Citizens of 146 countries are, on the other hand, required to go through the onerous steps of applying for a visa if they wish to visit.” He analyzes this dichotomy by claiming that those exempt nations are “wealthier, have closer trade and other relationships with Canada, and fortunate enough not to face situations of war and serious human-rights abuses.” He also labels the entire system “discriminatory and unfair." I do not work for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and therefore would never purport to speak for, or defend, their practices. Maybe there are problems and maybe the whole shebang needs an overhaul. I don’t know. But it appears that there's a lack of understanding of the national security concerns over immigration and visas; concerns that are legitimate and which no serious country or administration would ignore. Neve lists Afghanistan as one of the nations whose citizens have to go through the visa application process. I would imagine that some of the other 145 countries would include Somalia, Nigeria, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, all home to strong, and in some cases, growing terrorist organizations and many in the midst of conflicts in which a terrorist group is one of the adversaries. Is Neve seriously of the opinion that Canada has no interest in vetting potential visitors who may in fact be terrorists and who may intend us harm? Really? So we should just hang out the welcome sign and allow anyone to come to our fair land? Does anyone besides Neve think that way? He maintains that we ensure that those “who apply to visit Canada are treated fairly, without discrimination and, most important, with dignity and respect.” Would that include Boko Haram terrorist applicants, Islamic State terrorists, and Taliban terrorists? Phil Gurski is president and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting.