Chances are you immigrated to Canada. If not you, then your parents or grandparents did. Immigrants built this nation; partly because Canada has always welcomed those who want a better future, and partly because it has always required newcomers to maintain our population levels and stimulate our economy. Surprisingly, some believe the federal government should make it harder for newcomers to settle in Canada.
Critics argue that immigrants and refugees take jobs away from Canadians. They’re wrong. According to a 1994 study published in International Migration Review, the economy typically grows during periods of high immigration. That’s because many immigrants start companies and invest money into our economy. Others feel immigrants and refugees are responsible for higher levels of crime, however, less than 12% of our prison population is foreign born.
Others argue that immigrants and refugees dilute our sense of national pride without realizing that the majority of immigrants speak one of our national languages before arriving or learn one soon after, and more than 80 percent become Canadian citizens. Some feel that the government is not doing enough to open our arms to the world’s downtrodden – less than 50% of refugee claims are accepted. The United States, United Kingdom and Germany all receive more refugee claimants than Canada.
Most Canadians believe that everyone has the right to seek out and enjoy a life free from oppression and hardship, or to find a better life for their families. Our immigration policy is, in part, a reflection of this belief and is at the very soul of Canada. It would be wrong to destroy a policy that helps build our nation.
COUNTER POINT: AGAINST IMMIGRATION
Imagine you’re having a party. The door bell rings and to your surprise it’s a bunch of people that you weren’t expecting. How would you feel?
It’s a situation many Canadians feel they are in following the illegal arrival of hundreds of Chinese onto the shores of BC. Many residents are angry and upset. Not at the new arrivals, but at the federal government that allows people to ‘butt ahead’ of those who seek entry into this country legitimately.
An article from the Vancouver Province points out that the process to determine a refugee’s claim is so long and tedious that some claimants denied refugee status are still granted immigrant status because “they have been in Canada for a long time.” The fact is, many of these refugees are not escaping political or social oppression. They want to improve their economic well being.
So they come to Canada, and let taxpayers subsidize their new lifestyle. The tab to house, feed and care for the illegal arrival of Chinese last year exceeded $2 million. In Ontario, taxpayers spend up to $140 million annually on welfare for immigrants and refugees.
It might not be politically correct to admit, but we should have the right to choose those people we want to accept into this country. Just like those people you want to have at your party. We cannot afford to support the current system. It’s unfair. It’s costly. It’s inefficient. The government must do the right thing and reform our immigration policy.
What do you think about immigration? Open door policy? Only family members of existing citizens? Strict rules? Zero tolerance? Temporary workers only, no new citizens required? We’d love to hear your honest opinions below.