Harsha Walia, writing for TelesurTV, examines the realities of the Canadian immigration system, and calls upon the major political parties to move forward recommendations that would be committed to upholding Canadian values. (Three things about Canada’s Election and Immigration”, TelesurTV 18 August 2015).
The Canadian federal government has been described as a world leader in the ideology of multiculturalism because of its public emphasis on the social importance of immigration.
However, Walia identifies the politicians’ claims of “record number of immigrants” and “fairer and more efficient system” as tired clichés which stand in sharp contrast to the harsh reality:
More than half of migrants to Canada are temporary
“Federal governments always boast about ‘record levels of immigration’ but a growing number of migrants are coming on a temporary basis.”
More migrants arrive through migrant worker programs that grant temporary status than via avenues that grant permanent residence. Furthermore they are hired as indentured labourers and paid low wages with no guarantee of social services or labour protections let alone permanent residency. The temporary foreign worker program as it stands now treats people as disposable.
Politicians don’t care about our families
“All federal parties love appealing to ‘family values,’ but the number of family-class immigrants has dropped by 14, 000 people or 20 percent.”
We have witnessed draconian changes in family-class immigrants since the Conservatives have been in power— increasing the minimum income for eligibility in sponsorship, doubling the sponsorship period and excluding children over the age of 19 — that make it almost impossible for many Canadians to sponsor their parents, grandparents and siblings. By justifying the change as an economic imperative, the government is implying that an immigrant’s worth to this country should be measured only by the amount of tax they pay, and not by the other contributions they make, such as community volunteer work or enrichment of Canada’s multicultural fabric.
Migrants are increasingly incarcerated, deported and surveillanced
“For the first time since records are available, the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention strongly chastised the Canadian immigration detention system in 2014.”
The federal government’s ‘tough on terror agenda’ is a sorry excuse for immigrants and refugees to be torn apart from their loved ones, forced to endure indefinite detention under often brutal conditions, and facing deportation for minor offences or for being alleged security risks on scanty evidence.
To read the full article, click here: “Three things aboutCanada’s Election and Immigration”, (Harsha Walia, TelesurTV, 18 August 2015).
To purchase Wali’a book, click here: “Undoing Border Imperialism” Amazon.com