Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Cons' Immigration Policy: Xenophobic and Pandering

I admit it. I am totally perplexed by Stevie Peevie's immigration policy.

This is the text of his speech announcing the election. Here are his top four priorities:
We will be asking Canadians for a renewed mandate to:

• Implement the Next Phase of Canada’s world-leading Economic Action Plan to protect and create jobs as outlined in the budget.

• To make life easier and more affordable for working families, the people who work hard and play by the rules.

• To make our streets safer, putting the rights of victims ahead of criminals.

• And to stand on guard for our country by cracking down on human smuggling and strengthening our Arctic sovereignty.

That last one made me go: Hunh? Human smuggling is one of the top four priorities?


These are the people who -- sight unseen -- declared boatloads of desperate Tamil migrants to be 'criminals and terrorists'.

Yet, those same criminal and terrorists must pay off their human smugglers to get out of jail.
Tamils will stay in jail until they’ve paid off the very human smugglers that the Harper Government™ claims to be against.

Seems the 'ethnics' -- or would these be 'very ethnic'? -- aren't drinking this Kool-Aid.
The refugee rights and migrant justice group No One Is Illegal is outraged at the xenophobic message of an ad campaign launched by the Conservative Government of Canada. which shows Tamil boat people as terrorists and criminals seeking refuge in Canada.

“This election ad is xenophobic and borders on racism,” said Krisna Saravanamuttu, a Canadian Tamil council spokesman.

According to Magin Payet, member of No One Is Illegal, “The Conservatives are relying on fear mongering and racist stereotypes to vilify refugees and asylum seekers. Over the past two years, the Conservative government and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney have consistently and deliberately tried to create an atmosphere of paranoia to justify their growing trend of anti-refugee policies, including the widely condemned Bill C49, and the prolonged detention of almost 600 Tamil refugees aboard Ocean Lady and MV Sun Sea.”

“While chameleon Kenney tries to buy the immigrant vote by watching cricket and eating in ethnic restaurants, his anti-immigrant record speaks for itself. Kenney has drastically expanded slave-like temporary worker programs, under which migrant workers are exploited as cheap labour without basic rights. Meanwhile, the number of accepted refugees and permanent residents has plummeted,” states Sozan Savehilaghi, member of No One Is Illegal.

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s annual report the number of refugees who had their asylum claims approved has dropped by 56% over the past four years. Since, 2008 the number of temporary foreign workers (>250,000 people) in Canada now exceeds the number of permanent residents.

The number of family class immigrants accepted into Canada has dropped by 10,000 and the number of skilled worker visas has decreased by 20% since the Conservatives took power.

“The Conservative’s recent proposal to make spousal sponsorships for permanent residence conditional for two years is yet another attack on immigrant families. Under the guise of cracking down on marriage fraud, this proposed regulation will ensure that sponsored partners are living with precarious status, alongside hundreds of thousands of nonstatus people in this country. This makes women in particular extremely vulnerable to domestic and gender violence,” states Harsha Walia, member of No One Is Illegal.

More from 'annoyed' immigrant voters.
“They didn’t care about human smuggling. He wanted to talk about that but the listeners wouldn’t let him,” said Thind.

Thind said the Conservatives’ frequent talk about cracking down on human smugglers is a message that has angered many in the South Asian community.

Reducing the number of people in India eligible for family reunification with relatives in Canada from 15,000 to 11,000 per year is the major immigration issue for the community, Thind said.

Reunification now takes an average of 13 years, he said, instead of the two to four years it took less than a decade ago. For many South Asian families, that decade-plus long wait means a permanent separation, according to Thind, from parents and grandparents.

So, human smuggling cuts no ghee with this group, yet the Cons keep yammering about it.

Ooooo. Maybe it's a dog-whistle to the 'base'. (Same Star link.)

Those uppity migrants cost us -- meaning Real Canadians® -- a lot of dough.
Once the migrants arrive on Canadian territory, [Simon Fraser University academic Andre] Gerolymatos said it takes at least two years to process their claims and each claimant ends up costing taxpayers about $150,000.


Let's take a trip down memory lane. Here's the Refoooorm Party's immigration policy.
The Reform Party advocated an immigration policy based solely on the economic needs of Canada. Reform's early policy proposals for immigration were seen as highly controversial in Canada including a policy pamphlet called Blue Sheet that was issued in mid-1991 stating that Reformers opposed "any immigration based on race or creed or designed to radically or suddenly alter the ethnic makeup of Canada". The statement was considered too controversial and subsequent Reform Party policy documents did not declare any similar concern for a radical alteration of the ethnic make-up of Canada. However this controversy and others raised the question over whether Reform was intolerant to non-white people and whether the party harboured racist members. Subsequent repeated accounts of xenophobic and racist statements by individual Reform party supporters and members spread this concern, though the party itself continuously denied that it supported such views.

This just in.
The Conservative Leader will announce that if re-elected the Tories would lend money to recent immigrants so they can afford the skills training or upgrading required before their credentials can be recognized in Canada.

And just to round out your morning immigration-confusion, have a look at this ad playing only in Quebec.

Just how many sides of the mouth can Cons talk out of at the same time? Hell, I'm neither ethnic nor very ethnic and I'm insulted.


Beijing York said...

Their stance on family re-unification is not very family values oriented, is it? Makes me wonder if their racist roots are showing, i.e., trying to curb population growth of brown and black Canadians.

As for recent immigrants green-lighted for being professionals and then finding out that their credentials aren't recognized, sounds like the Contempt Party is trying to hide a huge blunder. Also, are these recent immigrants not eligible for Canada Student Loans? Or are these loans going to be less onerous than the regular ones?

deBeauxOs said...

Bingo! Here's DAMMIT JANET! on Immigration MinJKenney: family reunification, Very Important Refugees, immigration study guide, and the ever-popular visas for votes.

Beijing York said...

Meanwhile, the idiotic LPC actually vetted a KKK wannabe as a Quebec candidate. "Founder of a white rights group" is a nice way to soft-pedal f*cking racist.

Ignatieff orders probe into candidate who called natives ‘featherheads’

fern hill said...

Too much FB vs. too little. Bad booboo on LPC's part. Luckily, caught and fixed promptly.

deBeauxOs said...

By the way, it was the NDP candidate in Manicouagan who drew public attention to the Lib nominee's flagrant racist background as well as some borderline comments by the BQ one.

All three party leaders concerned took the high road in dealing with the situation quickly and efficiently, which is not surprising and a relief.

Scotian said...

Wow, that was one disturbing video. I'd read about it but to actually see it and hear the tone of the voice used in it really sent shivers down my spine, and not the good kind either. I should thank you for providing it and the translated version for this poor unilingual person and I suppose I do but at the same time that bothered me so much it feels difficult to thank anyone for exposing me to such ugliness.

I mean I know what the Harper regime is like, I know how they operate, I've been one of the more hardcore foes of Harper since well before he ever reached the PMO, but even so that still didn't make watching that ad any less unpleasant nor unsettling. I have no time or patience for intolerance/racism period, we are all human beings first and deserve to be judged equally first from that basis and as individuals not as some faceless mass label. Pandering to such for votes is one of the lowest things I know of in politics, but then the Harper regime has been lowering the bar on that front consistently for five years now and setting whole new precedents on just how disgusting a tactic they can see as valid if it helps them keep their hold on power.

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