Ipsos-Reid Poll Says That Anchor Babies Are Only One Of The Many Immigration Issues Canadians Disapprove Of

Ipsos-Reid Poll Says That Anchor Babies Are Only One Of The Many Current Immigration Policies Canadians Diaapprove Of


A recent Ipsos-Reid poll shows Canadians do not approve of giving citizenship to babies born in Canada of non-Canadian parents. The babies are usually described as “anchor babies” because the babies can act as “anchors” on Canadian soil and eventually sponsor or “pull back” the non-citizen family to Canada. The anchor baby issue was only one of many issues referred to in the poll.

An Ottawa Citizen article (reprinted in The Vancouver Sun on March 14,2005) reveals that on the issue of “anchor” babies, 53% stated that they did not approve of automatic Canadian citizenship for children born on Canadian soil from non-Canadian parents who are visiting the country. Canada and the U.S. are two of the very few countries that allow this practice.

“The foreign mothers who came here in the past to give birth were cheating the system”, says Dan Murray of Immigration Watch Canada. “They obviously had been advised to cheat by immigration lawyers and immigration consultants. This issue points once again to how a minority of Canadians undermine the system for their own financial gain. We don't have figures on how many mothers have abused the Canadian immigration system by doing this, but it is just one more example of abuse of the immigration system.”

The poll was conducted for Citizenship and Immigration Canada.It is a four-part “annual tracking survey” to be done by Ipsos-Reid. Three parts have been completed. The survey began in July, 2004.

In a CBC Radio interview on the anchor baby issue, Henry Yu, a UBC Professor of History who specializes in immigration issues, stated that he did not think poll results should be used to determine immigration policy.

“That is quite a statement,” says Dan Murray of Immigration Watch Canada. “The major problem with immigration policy for the last 15 years is that Canadians have had almost no voice in determining what immigration policy should be. Citizenship and Immigration has listened to immigration lawyers and immigration consultants. As many critics have said, this is like asking the Hell's Angels group for their opinions on changes to drug laws.

“The poll will cost Citizenship and Immigration $142,090. Remember that the immigration lawyers and consultants didn't pass the hat to pay for this poll. Citizenship and Immigration has repeatedly called these people 'stakeholders'. The application of this term to these people makes no sense. The real 'stakeholders' are the majority of Canadians. The money to pay for the poll came from the pockets of the majority of Canadians, yet information about current immigration policies is systematically withheld from Canadians. This is especially true for the extremely high immigrant intake over the past 15 years. C and I has never provided any sensible reasons for bringing so many people into Canada.”

The report on the poll states that “Canadians don't confer citizenship easily and they're evenly split on the question of whether the children of Canadians permanently living abroad should automatically be granted citizenship”.

The poll suggests “Canadians feel immigrants should have to actually live here for nearly four years before they may even apply for citizenship.

“Many Canadians feel that the program's current ability to screen out criminals from among legitimate immigrants or refugees is poor. Moreover, Canadians feel the program is not quick enough to deport those whose refugee claims are rejected.”

In addition, the poll reveals that Canadians were accepting of refugees selected by the federal government overseas, but “they are less accepting of refugees who come to Canada first, claim refugee status, and then say they can't go home because they fear persecution.” Canadians also think the system protects refugees more than it does Canadians.

According to Murray, ” If Canadians knew all that was really going on, the poll results would be much less favourable to all current immigration policies. All that Canadians hear about are issues that get completely out of control such as Stripper-Gate and the Citizenship-For-Pizza matter. Most Canadians think these incidents were absurd. Many Canadians are asking if much of what the entire department does is equally absurd.”