More Outrageous Immigration Actions Thrown At Canadians



Recent announcements by Immigration Minister Joe Volpe are outrageous examples of immigration policies that put the interests of Canadian-Born last and those of all others first, says Immigration Watch Canada.

In Britain, immigration policies are a major issue in the current national election there. Both the Labour Government and the Opposition Conservatives agree that major changes have to occur. In the U.S., the immigration policy of doing almost nothing about millions of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. across the Mexico-U.S. border is a major issue. Several hundred Minutemen volunteers have positioned themselves on the border and are doing the job which their federal government has refused to do.

Meanwhile, back in Canada, the federal government continues to pretend that all is well with current immigration policies. In fact, it says that if it can make Canadian policies even more lax than they now are, all the better. Here are the latest examples of continuing outrageous immigration proposals:

Immigration Minister Joe Volpe announced he will speed up entry for parents and grandparents and give foreign students the right to work. The new rules would also cut the parent/grandparent waiting time for citizenship from two years to one year. The goal would be to triple the number of applications processed in a year, from the current 6,000 to about 18,000.

According to The Toronto Star, the rules on foreign students currently restrict them to on-campus jobs while they attend school in Canada. Those regulations will be relaxed to let them work off-campus. They will also be allowed to stay in the country and work for up to two years after graduation – rather than the current one year – if they take jobs outside the three major urban centres of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Volpe's announcement has stated how the new rules would benefit immigrant applicants but it has said nothing about the impact of the new rules on Canadian-born.

Immigration Watch Canada says the following questions have to be asked and answered:

(1) If past sponsor behaviour is repeated and sponsors do not fulfill their 10-year sponsorship obligations, who will look after these new arrivals? In the past, the federal government has not prosecuted sponsors who brought relatives into Canada and who later did not fulfill their responsibilities. Provincial governments have been saddled with social assistance costs and are now trying to recover money from delinquent sponsors. Has the federal government taken any measures to prevent more abuse of Canada's social safety net by the sponsors of these potential new arrivals? How much have delinquent sponsors cost Canadians in the past?

(2) Is this yet another example of major contradictions within the Immigration Department? It claims that Canada needs more immigrants to help pay for future health care costs for an aging population. Yet, as Martin Collacott has pointed out, 1996 Stats Can figures reveal that over 27% of foreign-born were over 65. This compares with 17% of Canadian-Born who were over 65. How are elderly (presumably non-working) people supposed to help pay for health care costs?

Many of Volpe's new arrivals are also older people. Almost daily, Canadians hear of Canada's health care system being stretched to its limits. To what extent will these new, older arrivals compete for medical and senior-citizen care with Canadian-Born? To what extent will these new people displace Canadian-Born in their needs for scarce medical and senior-citizen care?

(3) Most important of all on the family issue, will the changes return Canada to the chain-migration mess it found itself in a few years ago? As critics have repeatedly stated, once parents are here, they can sponsor other children who, in turn, can sponsor other relatives. In the past, the chain has been extended to absurd lengths in the self interests of immigrants, and to the detriment of Canadian-Born. Who should Canada's immigration system be serving?

(4) Is the government once again trying to divert attention from its current scandals by putting a smoke-screen “feel-good” programme in front of Canadians?

(5) Is the government once again trying to get votes from recent immigrant sponsors and to import more potential voters?

(6) Many Canadian-Born students now complain about heavy debt loads.Before announcing lax measures for foreign students, did the federal government try to determine how much difficulty Canadian-Born students are currently having in finding summer and year-round, part-time employment? Won't the arrival of foreign students in the off-campus student job market increase competition for scarce jobs and displace Canadian-Born?

Also, how many Canadian-Born students are currently being displaced from college/university spaces? If, as Volpe hopes, more foreign students arrive, how much more displacement will occur?

(7) Volpe has also reiterated that additional money and personnel will be deployed to fast-track the admission of about 110,000 immigrant wage earners with badly needed skills. The big question is this: Where is the evidence that Canada needs these people–especially at a time when about 6 1/2 million new Canadian born will be entering the job market?

Like many of his predecessors, Volpe has not told the truth to Canadians. His proposed changes are ill-considered and need to be stopped.


Note: The following article from “The Scotsman” describes the emphasis on the immigration issue in the current national election in Britain.

Howard attacks Blair over immigration

TORY leader Michael Howard will today attempt to maintain the momentum of his first week of campaigning by returning to immigration, one of his most fruitful lines of attack on the government's performance.

The Tory leader will use a keynote speech in the Midlands to condemn Tony Blair for “pussy-footing” around the immigration debate – and insist that it is not racist to confront concerns about the number of foreigners entering Britain every year.

Labour strategists have attempted to portray Tory attacks on the government's record on immigration as “opportunist”, claiming they play on racist sentiments underlying the debate about asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants.

During the weeks leading up to the official start of the campaign, the Tories have put forward a series of proposals for tightening the immigration and asylum system, including a quota on the number of migrants allowed into Britain every year and a new force of border guards” designed to police the nation's frontiers.

And, buoyed by a new poll suggesting his party is just one point behind Labour, Howard will reopen the row during a visit to Telford.

“It is offensive to brand as racist hard-working people who worry about the chaos in our immigration system,” he is expected to say. “If we don't speak up now and have a proper debate about immigration we'll only help the bigots who preach racial hatred and the people-smugglers who profit from other people's misery.

“Mr Blair may want to pussyfoot around this issue, but I don't. The majority of British people, whatever their background, are united on this issue. They want immigration to be limited and controlled. We all pay taxes. We all use the public services. And we're all entitled to expect fair play.”

The renewed attack on an issue which Labour's own polling confirms is a weak area for the government marks a return to aggressive campaigning after a two-day ceasefire” called because of the Pope's funeral and the royal wedding.

Labour chiefs will also go on the offensive today, with a sustained attack on the Tories' “incoherent, dangerous and risky” economic blueprint.

Gordon Brown will attempt to mark out the differences between the two parties in an area chosen as Labour's campaign battleground, during a speech this afternoon. He will maintain that there is a 35bn gap in the Tory spending plans that can only be filled through cuts in public services, and contrast it with Labour's plans to “keep public services safe for a generation”.

Labour officials claim the speech, along with an address by Tony Blair in his Sedgefield constituency earlier in the day, will be a step towards a “Tory demolition day” next week, when the party claims it will expose shadow chancellor Oliver Letwin's financial blueprint.

Blair and Brown will continue their joint campaign this week, with more engagements and speeches amounting to a co-ordinated defence of Labour's record and an attack on Tory spending plans.

Labour will underline the importance of Brown's record to its third-term challenge tomorrow, by unveiling the education and economy chapters of its manifesto, in advance of the publication of the entire document later in the week.

Party officials said the economy would be confirmed as “the key battleground” of the election campaign, while, in an echo of Blair's vote-winning formula of 1997, education would be Labour's top priority for improvement during a third term in government.

Blair, Brown and Education Secretary Ruth Kelly will unveil a dedicated education pledge card”, outlining Labour's plans to improve standards in schools and universities and extend access to nursery places.

The declaration demonstrates the decline of the “security and opportunity” theme that campaign co-ordinator Alan Milburn had planned to use as his campaign touchstone. A Labour spokesman said the economy was crucial to the party's plans, because it represented the platform for changes in front-line services.

He added: “We have got to have a strong and stable economy which leads to growth and allows more investment in public services, which allows us to continue reforming them. It is a virtuous circle.”