Immigrants to the US are walking into Canada in bitter cold weather. The fear raised by the president’s muslim ban has sent people looking for the Canadian dream. (More)
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President Trump’s immigration muslim ban started an exodus.
Canada knows what it wants: high-skilled workers and business entrepreneurs like Thomas. As such, Canada assigns points to prospective newcomers for job skills, education and language proficiency. They don’t even call them immigrants.
“In Canada, we do refer to immigrants as ‘new Canadians,’ ” says Margaret Eaton, executive director of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council. “Because there is that expectation that they will come here and that they will stay. And our country, unlike others, actually provides a path to citizenship.”
The night Donald Trump won the election, the Canadian immigration website crashed from the crush of panicky U.S. residents and citizens considering relocation. The next day, Rene Berrospi, a Peruvian-born immigration lawyer in Toronto, started getting calls, emails and Facebook messages from immigrants living in the U.S.
This is not just a matter of hospitality but sheer demographics and economics.
Yet Canadian immigration is not based purely on maple-leaf hospitality. This northern colossus — the second largest country on the globe — has only 36 million people. Eaton says a low national birthrate creates Canada’s immigration imperative.
“We are not replacing ourselves. So we are always relying upon bringing new immigrants into the country, but it even has more urgency now,” Eaton says. “If we want to maintain our standard of living, we are going to have to be bringing even larger numbers of immigrants.”
Greg Jansen is the reeve (like a mayor) of Emerson. The town has 671 residents and is not prepared to deal with this influx on their own.
Janzen said he’s still yet to receive a response from Ottawa or the provincial government about what it plans to do to help address the influx of refugee claimants coming into Emerson.
“You need more boots on the ground, more RCMP, more border security people — because they don’t have that huge amount of people, more resources to help out.”
Not all Canadians support this influx of refugees. 1 in 4 Canadians want a Trump-style travel ban.
“There are significant segments of folks who are expressing opposition and unease and anxiety to both the numbers, our target levels of 40,000, and then there is a smaller group, but not a fringe group, who are questioning whether we should be taking refugees at all.”
Issues abound as Canada deals with their own refugees and ours. Right now, they appear to be much more welcoming than we do. I hope their spirit of generosity can survive this current situation. We will need someone to look up to when we finally emerge from our national nightmare.
Credit: Adobe Stock Images. Standard License.