Pointers to Discriminatory Canadian Immigration Policies
York University; Africa Leadership Institute
September 30, 2011
Transnational Social Review, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2011
Canada has been a haven for refuge seekers from around the world for many years because of its relatively generous immigration rules. For that reason, in 1986, the people of Canada were awarded the Nansen Refugee Award by UNHCR for helping refugees integrate successfully into Canadian society. However, there appear to be discriminatory tendencies in its immigration policies, which in the past were based on race. This contribution delves into the differential treatment of immigrants from the global south compared to the preferential treatment of English speaking Caucasians from Europe and Oceania. The question that arises at this juncture is why, given all the accolades heaped on Canada, do discriminatory laws and practices persist in the assessment of non-European immigrants’ credentials. Could it be that the laws and practices are crafted to cleverly continue with the old agenda of keeping certain types or races of people out of Canada? The Canadian Council for Refugees (2000: 1) observes that racism and discrimination are part of the Canadian reality, manifested at the personal level in the way individuals are treated and manifested at the systemic level, through government bodies and the refugee and immigration policies that have a differential impact on racialized groups. Those bodies and policies can also lead to discrimination against newcomers as a group, or certain sub-groups of newcomers. This contribution proceeds by taking a look at the country’s history in terms of immigration policy history to shed light on the current underlying discrimination in immigration policy, practices and law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: Canada, immigration, refugees, discrimination
JEL Classification: D63, F02, F22, J7, K00, N4Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 28, 2011
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