MEXICAN REFUGEES COMPETE WITH HOMELESS FOR HOUSING ; WHY A POLICY OF MAINTAINING HIGH IMMIGRATION SO CANADA CAN BE READY FOR THE RECOVERY MAKES NO SENSE
These are important views on two recent immigration developments.
#1 : MEXICAN REFUGEES COMPETE WITH HOMELESS FOR HOUSING
I had a very bizarre talk with a complete stranger about 2 months ago. I had walked to a bus stop near my home and was waiting for a bus. A young man in his early 20's was sitting there, and I struck up a conversation with him.
It turned out that he was from Mexico, and that he had been a post-secondary student there. I mentioned to him that I had been there years ago and had travelled around the country. I asked him what part of Mexico he was from. He said that he was from a city in the north.
I mentioned that I had been to his particular area and asked him what he was doing in Vancouver. He told me that he, his parents and his siblings had all come to Canada as refugee claimants. He explained that in the area where he came from, many people had been killed in the Mexican drug wars. The family felt the city in which they were living was very dangerous, and had heard they could apply for refugee status here. The Canadian government had allowed them to make a claim and had quickly found them a place to stay. The government had also told them they could work, and recommended that they apply for construction jobs at the Olympic Village. Both the young man and his father soon were employed there. The young man was actually waiting for a bus to take him to work.
Our conversation ended because I had to catch a different bus, but I began to think that this whole story was very strange indeed.
The young man's family had been provided with instant housing. But several thousand Canadian-born were sleeping on the streets of the city every night. Undoubtedly, some had major addiction complications, but I suspect that many did not and would gladly welcome a warm and clean place to live.
So why were the authorities able to almost immediately find accommodation for this Mexican family while our own Canadian homeless were told that either nothing was available or they would have to wait for months or years?
I know some people will argue that the homeless issue is a municipal or provincial matter while the refugee issue is a federal one.
But I would make two points in response.
First, if federal money can be immediately found for housing Mexican refugee claimants and processing their illegitimate refugee claims, then why hasn't federal money been just as quickly found to alleviate legitimate calls by many municipalities to get Canada's homeless off the streets? Or to put the matter another way, why hasn't the phoniness of these claims been acknowledged and why hasn't the money been spent on ending homelessness and curing other social problems? Over the past 25 years, the federal government has spent billions of dollars housing refugee claimants and processing hundreds of thousands of refugee claims, most of which are phoney. Simultaneously, it has claimed that it has no money to help out municipalities with such issues as homelessness.
Second, Metro Vancouver's drug wars have made many people here feel unsafe, so by that reasoning, couldn't Canadians run to some other country, which has a gullible and naive attitude towards refugee claimants, and make a refugee claim there? Why hasn't our federal government quickly enacted a law which would allow it to deny Mexicans and people from dozens of other such countries the right to make refugee claims? Canada could do that by declaring Mexico and many other countries to be Safe Countries for the same reasons that Canada, outside drug war areas in Metro Vancouver, is a safe country.
#2 : WHY A POLICY OF MAINTAINING HIGH IMMIGRATION SO THAT CANADA CAN BE READY FOR THE RECOVERY MAKES NO SENSE
As hundreds of thousands of Canadians lose their jobs, immigration advocates have desperately grasped to find new arguments to make for maintaining high immigration. The latest is that Canada should continue its high levels so that our economy can be ready to take off when the recession ends. Of all the absurd immigration statements that have ever been made, this one has to take top prize.
To explain why, let's ask one basic question: If we continue to allow around 250,000 immigrants to enter Canada every year, what are these 250,000 new arrivals going to do when they get here?
Since October, 2008, around 400,000 Canadians have lost their jobs. Canada now has around 1.5 million unemployed. The outlook is not good for many others.
If, as most would expect, the new immigrants try to find jobs, but the number of jobs continues to decrease, it is inevitable that these new people are going to compete with our own unemployed for the few jobs that exist. And, incredible as it may sound, some employers will be required by federal Employment Equity law to hire them, particularly if they are visible minorities. That means that Canadian-born will not even be considered for many jobs.
But what about the new arrivals who can't find any employment? Well, the obvious answer is that these people will have to be supported by social assistance. What sense does this make? Is this the Brave New World (otherwise known in the Metro Toronto area as “DIVERCITY”) that many Metro Toronto politicians think of as an achievement?
What happens if the recession goes on for a few years? Does that mean Canadian-born face even greater competition for employment? How long will it take to pay off the bills accumulated by subsidizing people Canada never needed in the first place? Furthermore, instead of making Canada prepared for the recovery, won't the bills really slow down the arrival of any recovery? And what will happen to our unemployed when the recovery comes? Will they be further ignored so that attention can be paid to satisfying the needs and recognizing the credentials of a new immigration tsunami?
It seems that Canada has come to a crossroads. It is time to start a series of cross-country town hall meetings. Let's arrange to have all the politicians and immigration advocates, who want to maintain high immigration, meet our unemployed in those halls. Let's close the doors. The immigration advocates, who have insulated themselves from the unemployed, can have a brief time to tell the unemployed why high immigration must continue.
Then, the unemployed can tell them what they think. Most Canadians would say that the result won't be pretty for the high immigration advocates. But most would say that this kind of a result is long overdue.