In either of the non-Latin North American nations, The United States of America or the Dominion of Canada, there is a simple way to bypass the “Our own homeless vs refugees” problem (or veterans vs refugees, or any one of a dozen memetic concepts that in the real world do not actually help group A, but simply shaft group B).
First, decide that you truly respect all of your fellow citizens, and that while they do not have to accept, they should always be offered the bare basics if needed to be a secure human being, with safety and dignity.
Second, fix in your mind that part of the love and respect for your fellows is to choose to have your nation do what is right and sensible, that there is not a conflict between the two values.
Third, consider that since many of the refugees are potential citizens, that to be on the safe side they should be treated as though they already were, this means that the ones that eventually leave will have been treated as well as you would have yourself treated.
Fourth, through stimulus packages to the industries that will be needed to deal with an influx of people from a different culture, many who have been traumatized and need to adapt to a society that is strange to them while still being true to themselves, start to create the human and resource infrastructure to be able to efficiently:
-Build, source, or refurbish buildings to serve as civilized housing, even if temporary.
This involves multiple industries, and is best if it is able to source non-traditional materials, such as the currently experimental stackable Sea Can units outfitted to be single person housing or linked for multi-member households.
– Have compassionate yet efficient professional health care, including medical, mental health, and child welfare, the time taken is an investment in the people’s contributions to society in the future (and any world view that dictates otherwise is clearly focused on the short term and immediate, thus being suspect when debating the long term weal of the nation).
-Provide job, life, education, and cultural counselling that is thorough but also not overly constrained by bureaucracy, and a limited ability when it is for the good of an individual in context of society to fast track certain processes.
While some people will never produce any visible benefit to the society around them, regardless of what they are given, they are in a minority among those whose means and well being is the primary constraint upon their ability to offer benefits of any substance to their communities and the future of the world at large.
-Engage in food production and distribution that is simple, and not constrained by budgetary restraints, the aim is to build people up to be able to maintain themselves.
Focus procurement on local and sustainable goods, this cycles the funds expended in a manner that supports domestic concerns and stimulates a fundamental industry for any safe and secure society in a sometimes unpredictable world.
Get some folks engaged in domestic gardening, particularly if for some reason they are unable to join the work force. This is an excellent occupation for the elderly, particularly if youth can be persuaded to voluntarily assist them, as it creates the continuity of generations that is lacking in much of mainstream North American culture while also enhancing domestic food security by establishing horticulture as a societal norm.
-Offer practical yet encompassing interfaith worship and services, that are acceptable to a fundamentalist of almost any faith, as well as to an atheist, which do not prohibit personal practice nor that of congregations. This could in large part take the form of participatory discussions or debates about fundamental ethics as regarding humanity itself, the value of gratitude and reverence for the simple grace of being alive and conscious in the first place, or how to reconcile personal beliefs with a secular world without sacrificing integrity of self.
Familiarization without competitiveness is needed for true integration of individuals, and the peaceful co-existence of disparate cultures.
By deliberately cultivating these capacities to meet the needs of populations of displaced people from cultures significantly different from our nebulous Canadian multicultural identity, people who have been through experiences that leave marks on the psyche as well as the body and position in the social matrix, the capability to deal with our own domestic homeless, veterans, elderly, mentally ill, and others who have suffered poor fortune, would be established.
The end product would be a more secure society with grateful and healthy new citizens, guests returning to home nations safe once more or moving on to more suitable hosts who have departed with stories to tell of the intelligence and compassion of the nation that hosted them, a populace and government with the proven ability to deal with disasters or future refugees (probably a growth industry, sadly), and a nation better able to honour itself, citizen by citizen.