Number of immigrants who become Canadian citizens dropping
According to a new study by Statistics Canada this week, the number of immigrants who go all the way to becoming Canadian citizens has dropped significantly. But the bigger picture is more complicated than it seems.
“There are a number of factors that created the decline,” former director-general with Immigration Canada, Andrew Griffith, told CBC.
On Remembrance Day, Don Cherry was fired from Sportsnet for a comment he made on Coach’s Corner regarding poppies. He complained that not enough immigrants were wearing them and suggested that it represented a general ingratitude by immigrants of the benefits they enjoy by living in Canada.
His comment, now dubbed the “‘you people’ comment”, caused predictable outrage. The state broadcaster pointed out that Cherry’s remarks could not possibly have merit because of the fact that there are visible minorities who fought for this country. Try not to think too hard about the fact that they conflated visible minorities with immigrants. I happen to be both, but many Canadians happen to be one or the other.
Many in the media interpreted (some in bad faith) it as an attack on all minorities through Canadian history. While there is a general stereotype that people of colour were not born in Canada, I dare claim that it is a fast disappearing one, at least from personal experience having lived most of my life in Ontario.
Unfortunately, while that stereotype is on the decline, another is on the rise. Even more unfortunately, the one that is on the rise has an uncomfortably high level of merit. After all, Don Cherry did not come up with an original idea, he merely expressed the “wrong” opinion in the “wrong” forum.
I know many fellow immigrant-minorities who find it quite puzzling that the mainstream media and a large section of society simply cannot fathom why racist attitudes are apparently becoming more prevalent and acceptable by progressives who hurl racist abuse against anyone who does not accept the “woke” dogma of the day and by the sentiment sometimes called “whitelash”. Did the white people of Canada spontaneously develop previously a non-existent or hidden collective race consciousness?
On the contrary, I cautiously claim that as each generation in society has its own cultural features, so do successive waves of immigrants. This is true regardless of the predominant country of origin or religion of any given wave of immigration. Not that immigrants are the same regardless of their origin, but that immigrants of the same origin will still tend to behave differently depending on when they came to Canada, and this is likely true even correcting for the amount of time spent in Canada.
In other words, an immigrant of “minority x” in 1990 who immigrated in 1975 will be systematically different from an immigrant of the same “minority x” in 2015 who immigrated in 2000. This is despite the fact that they are from essentially the same origin and have spent the same amount of time in Canada. This should not be a controversial statement.
This is because of two changing variables: the state of society in the country of origin, and the state of society in the destination country. Our society has definitely been changing, so it should not be a surprise if the way we integrate immigrants into our society changes as well. In fact, there may be a very strong case that our “immigration culture” has been changing mostly not because of changes in where our immigrants come from or their culture, but because of changes in our own culture and championing the “cultural mosaic”.
Not many people would argue with the fact that our society has become much more accommodating of social minorities, such as people in the LGBTQ community or people living with disabilities. Hopefully, not many people would argue with the claim that this is largely a positive thing for society as a whole.
Under Canadian Human Rights Law, individuals must be accommodated by society, including the government, employers, service providers, and other individuals. This accommodation must seek to prevent discrimination based on a “prohibited ground” to the point of “undue hardship”. Setting aside whether we as a society have enumerated the proper “prohibited grounds”, whether “undue hardship” is an appropriate threshold, or whether that threshold is interpreted as it should be, it is definitely reasonable for individuals to expect at least some accommodation from society because we do not all share the same characteristics, disadvantages, and capabilities, and a blanket allowance for all forms of discrimination will create discontent and will exclude too many people for society to function well.
For much of history, this accommodation was arguably too little, and we had been moving in the right direction for a long time. However, somewhere along the way, it became inappropriate to consider the extent to which individuals can be expected to accommodate society. Society is made up of individuals, and it is impossible for millions of idiosyncrasies to be accommodated perfectly. One individual’s right is necessarily another individual’s duty not to infringe upon that right. Where we create more rights, we create more duties for others.
I am not trying to argue that the poor white people of Canada are being victimized because they now have more duties not to infringe upon others’ rights not to be unfairly discriminated against. Rather, it is that rights must have a limit, or we create unlimited duties that can have negative consequences or even become impractical.
The phrase “Islam is right about women” is one illustration of this conflict. The phrase was coined to point out a popular contradiction in our modern outrage culture. The idea is that you can either be offended because you think the statement is discriminatory against either muslims or women, but thinking that it is discriminatory against muslims is sexist and thinking that it is discriminatory against women is Islamophobic. The phrase does not claim that Islam is worse for women than any other religion, and there is a good case that Christianity, as with most other religions, are sexist as well, at least by modern western standards. However, the illustration only works because muslims are considered, rightfully in my opinion, to face disproportionately high levels of unfair discrimination.
Other examples include: lessons promoting LGBTQ equality being pulled from classrooms because of complaints by immigrants that such ideas infringe upon freedom of thought or religion, claims by trans activists that lesbians are transphobic for refusing to sleep with people with penises, or labelling the term “bisexual” as exclusionary of non-binary individuals.
Excuse the cliche, but the point is this: we can’t only keep asking what our country can do for us, and not what we can do for our country. The country is nothing more than a collection of us, and we can’t expect all of us to do everything for each individual while making no attempt to fit into our society.
Canadians are bound together by what we have in common, but without the effort of individuals, the few remaining values that hold us together will only continue to weaken and we will become ever more divided into factions competing to score the biggest take for their particular team. Soon, there could be nothing we have in common with each other, other than our shared struggle to compete with each other for resources.
Diversity does not make balkanization inevitable, but our current societal trajectory probably does when “diversity is our strength” is zealously pushed without expecting some common values and customs to be upheld to keep us all together.
Don Cherry was merely pointing out one aspect of that fact.
Conservative Party address Canadian border agency’s decision to cancel outstanding illegal entry warrants
The CBSA currently has roughly 48,000 active arrest warrants for people wanted for immigration violations. Such violations include overstaying VISAs or remaining in the country after a refugee claim has been rejected.
However, Global News recently uncovered that the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) “cancels arrest warrants for failed refugee claimants and other people wanted for removal who it cannot find, even in cases where it is not clear whether a person has left Canada.”
According to Global News, the CBSA often cancels an outstanding warrant for someone who has violated immigration laws after the CBSA loses track of that person’s whereabouts. Furthermore, the CBSA is unable to perfectly track whether someone who has violated immigration law has indeed left the country, as they only have access to information on people who have left by ground routes and not by air.
Former border agent and professor at Mount Royal University Kelly Sundberg says that border agents have been cancelling such warrants for people facing deportation for over a decade, well before the CBSA was created in 2003.
“It’s crazy,” Sundberg said. “There’s no way we should have been doing it this way.”
Sundberg says this was common if the person had not committed a crime while in Canada, with border agents only actively going after those whose whereabouts are known and who have broken some other law.
According to Global News, the CBSA considers how long “someone has been wanted in Canada without being detected, plus the age of the wanted individual.” If a person has evaded detection for over 10 years and have not committed any other crime, it’s normal for their warrant to be cancelled.
“In limited circumstances, an immigration warrant may be cancelled even if it cannot be confirmed that an individual has left Canada,” said CBSA spokesperson Rebecca Purdy.
“CBSA officers must exercise due diligence in exhausting all leads to locate an individual before a warrant can be cancelled.”
Since this revelation, Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives have came out strongly against the practice, saying that, if elected, they will put a stop to the cancellation of outstanding warrants.
“We believe that when someone has been ordered deported, that should be carried out,” Scheer stated Friday.
“Cancelling warrants for those ordered deported is unacceptable and a Conservative government will fix this broken process,” added Conservative Party spokesperson Simon Jefferies.
A major bed bug infestation has forced government offices in downtown Montreal to temporarily close down.
The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) has come out and said that, due to the infestation, all hearings have been canceled for Thursday.
“If you were scheduled to appear at a hearing, you will be contacted with a new date,” IRB wrote on its website.
According to CTV News, a firm has been hired to clean the effected buildings, but it may take several days before this IRB office can reopen and continue with hearings.
The Guy-Favreau Complex also houses Service Canada and Passport Canada, meaning that many Canadian citizens may be affected by the delay.
This government office is only one of many which has fallen prey to the pesky, ever resistant bed bug. As CTV Reports, only ten days ago, the Gatineau offices of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada also had to shut down due to the same problem.
A British family of seven, who earlier this month, crossed the U.S. border illegally, have had their claim that they entered accidentally rejected.
The family entered into the U.S. state of Washington from British Columbia through a ditch. Despite this, the family claimed that this act was entirely unintentional; only wishing to take a “brief detour” on a rural road to avoid an animal.
According to the CBC, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection quickly refuted the family’s claim, stating that the vehicle was recorded driving “slowly and deliberately” into the United States.
After this, the vehicle was pulled over by American border patrol officers and the family was subsequently arrested. The couple has described this ordeal as “the scariest experience of our lives.”
A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said in an email that two of the adults had previously been denied entry into the U.S.
The United States are now in the process of deporting the family back to the United Kingdom.