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Immigration
policy is an important factor in the development of Canada. In Canada,
immigration policy has supplied a multicultural example of economic, social and
political growth. For decades now, the Canada immigration policy strategy has
been a hallmark of Canada’s identity.
Immigration policy has provided many things such as excellent education,
medical care, and it gave people hope for a better future. It is based upon
principles of family reunion, concern for refugees, and the promotion of
Canada’s social, economic, demographic and cultural goals. Every year, around
300,000 million of people enter Canada as immigrant or refugee. (Duchensne,
2017, p.56) Without immigration policy, Canada would have been the disaster
nation with low growth rate. “Over the past few months,
there has been much talk, both across Canada and around the world, about
immigration. And of all the countries in the world, Canada continues to stand
out as a beacon of hope,” notes Attorney David Cohen. (Duchensne,
2017, p.40) Immigration policies play an elemental role in Canadian identity.

Canada’s
immigration policies changed many times. During First World War, a lot of
political disturbance and economic problems took place, which made the
immigration policy restricted. According to the Canadian encyclopedia
“Immigration Act in 1919, the government excluded certain groups from entering
the country, including Communists, Mennonites, Doukhobors, and other groups
with particular religious practices, and nationalities whose countries had fought
against Canada during the WW1, such as the Austrians, Hungarians, and Turks.” (Dirks, 2017) These restricted
immigration policies sustained until the middle of the 20th century
right before World War two took place.

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After
WW2, Canada’s restricted immigration policies gradually ease because Canada
needed labor and partly due to changing social attitudes. Restriction on
Chinese immigration policy ended in 1947. Not until 1962, Canada’s immigration
policies changed drastically from being racial discriminative to being equal to
every race, color, religion, and
nationality was not the factors in the new system; rather the consideration for
immigrants was mainly dependent on work skills, education levels, language
ability and family connection but there were still some restrictions on
immigration policies.  “There were
administrative policies (such as how many visa officers are assigned to
different posts and how the processing is done) that may have the impact of excluding,
although the policy intent is never expressed to exclude,” said Naomi Alboim, a
professor who specialized in immigration policy. (Black, 2013) By 1980, five
classes of immigrants were established which includes, independent immigration,
refugees, family connections, assisted relatives, and economic immigrants.

Now a
day, Immigration Policies in Canada are designed in three main categories.
Family class immigrants, which consist of those who are sponsored by the family
member who already is citizens or
permanent residents of Canada. Economic immigrants, which means the people who
are admitted based on labor market requirements, their skills, or are business
people. And lastly, the refugees, the people who are escaping because of the
fear of harassment, torture, and suffering in their homeland. According to the
Canadian council “for refugees, Canada welcomed around 300,000 newcomers which include 172,500 economic class immigrants,
84,000 family class immigrants, and
43,500 refugees.” (Harris,
2017) Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said that “by 2036 100 percent of Canada’s population growth will be
as a result of immigration, it stands at about 75 percent today.” (Harris, 2017) The number of immigrants will climb
up from 300,000 immigrants per year in 2017 to 310,000 immigrants in 2018.  Earlier this year, Ontario’s immigration
Minister Laura Albanese states, “Ontario support growth in immigration level,
particularly in economic immigration to support the growing economy.” (Harris,
2017)

Canada
welcomes around 300,000 immigrants every year through different programs.
Immigration system provides help for immigrants, including refugees to settle
in Canada. To maintain Canada’s welcoming attitude towards new immigrants, the
Canadian government provides immigrants with language training for those who
need help with language and access to Canada’s national health care along with
social welfare programs. People choose to immigrate to Canada because it is
very friendly and generous country. As Trudeau stated “you chose this country.
This is your country more than it is for others.” (Minsky, 2017) Immigration
system provides newcomers with housing, schooling, and community so immigrants
prepare for success in Canada and don’t feel left out in the new Country.
According to Migration policy institute, Deborah Meyers states “The Canadian
government has many more programs to welcome immigrants and help them settle
than the United States”. (Newcomers to Canada, 2014)

Immigration
has a great benefit on the economic system in Canada. It plays an important
role in building the Canadian economy by providing growth in the labor force.
The mass number of immigrants in Canada targets an increase in economic
immigrants. With the number of newcomers every year, there is an increase in
jobs being taken in the Canadian labor force. Earlier this year,
immigration Minister John McCallum said that
“Canada is relying on the immigrants because most of them are skilled which
makes it easier to employ them for jobs throughout the labor market, this all
is helping constant growing of the economy.” (Spracklin, 2014) According to
research, it showed that the immigration has an important impact on Canadian
trade links. Economists Krishna
Pendakur
specified that “it projected that 1%
increase in immigration from a specific country lead to a 0.1% increase in the
value of Canadian exports, largely because of international networks that
immigrants brought with them.” (Feiesen, 2017)

It is
estimated that Canada is known the world over for its welcoming immigration
policy which has encouraged the kind of ethnic
diversity and multiculturalism for which the nation is well-known. According to
research, it is shown that Canada has around 33 different ethnic groups with at
least 100,000 members. (Immigration and Ethnocultural Diversity in Canada,
2016) Justin Trudeau always says, “Diversity is Canada’s strength”. (Black,
2013) Multiculturalism shows the value and dignity of all Canadians, regardless
of their racial origin, language or religious relationships. Based on Pat Spracklin, it is shown that “Canada has multicultural immigrants
includes 3.2% population of Muslim, 1.4% of Sikh, 40% of Asian and others.” (Roy,
2013)

According
to this whole explanation, it is concluded that immigration policy plays an
elemental role in Canadian identity. It is because
immigration policy makes Canada stand alone in the world as a country with mass
immigration. It has accounted most of the population growth. It plays an
important role in shaping our economy and developing this nation into a
multicultural nation. Justin Trudeau quoted, “From our earliest days as a
nation, through to the official adoption of multiculturalism in 1917 and the
later inclusive of this principle in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms,
Canada’s strength and vibrancy have long been built on the cornerstone of
diversity,” (Canadian Multiculturalism Day, 2013) Canada’s identity changed
through immigration policies. It has been a large part of Canada’s history, and
they will play an equal role in Canada’s future. Canada has around 300,000
immigration every year, that mass numbers of immigrants in Canada target an
increase in economic immigrants. As Immigration
Minister Ahmed Hussen told CBC News,
“Nothing is going to impact this country more besides increased automation
and technology than immigration will, and this impact will grow in response to
the declining birth rate, aging population, and
accelerated retirements.” (Harris, 2017) Diversity and
Immigration are such important parts of Canada’s past, present, and future. Canada would be a very different
place today if the immigration policy wouldn’t have been introduced. It played
such a large role in our make-up and our diversity, which creates a global
strength in Canada like no other country. 

 

 

 

 

 

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