Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Clan is Coming

The Gathering Of The Clan
(And We Don’t Mean the MacGregors!)

"There is nothing wrong with newcomers wishing to bring in members of their extended families. It is perfectly natural and, indeed, admirable to want to help one's relatives. The question remains, however, whether it is in the interests of Canadians to take in large numbers of individuals likely to incur major costs on the taxpayers as well as face greater problems of integration than most skilled independent immigrants. [Not to dwell on the steadily diminishing economic performance of so-called skilled newcomers in recent decades, with each new cohort underperforming the last]. As far back as the 1950s, ... it was calculated that, for every individual from one particular country who was admitted into Canada as an independent immigrant, another forty-nine gained access through sponsorship." (Martin Collacott, “Family Class Immigration: The Need For a Policy Review,” Canadian Issues, Spring 2006)

The following "feel good" story, as breathlessly related by a simpering CBC, does not clarify by what financial means the family patriarch sponsors a seemingly endless troupe of extended family members: "A Somali-born Canadian who has brought 94 members of his family to Canada in the last decade greeted six more in Winnipeg earlier this week. 'We are the lucky family in Manitoba, or I say all of Canada,' Marcus Askar [resident in Canada 15 years], told CBC News on Tuesday night as he greeted the most recent six in his extended family to make the trip from the famine-racked country in the Horn of Africa. ... 'As a family we celebrate that family members are coming,' Marcus Askar said, 'but we are sorry how our people in Somalia are suffering.' [And yet], it looks like the Askar clan will be growing again soon: Rahma Askar, one of the new arrivals, is seven months' pregnant." (CBC, July 31, 2011)

Meanwhile, out there in the rational world: "the United States has halted a program that united African refugees with relatives in America after DNA testing revealed many people were lying about family links, the State Department said on Wednesday. Thousands of Africans have been allowed to settle in the United States since 1990 under the family reunification program, which accepts relatives such as parents or children of people who have already been admitted into the United States as refugees, or who were granted asylum. But recent DNA tests on applicants in seven African countries showed only about 20 percent actually had a family relationship. ... Many of the 3,000 who were tested were from Somalia, Ethiopia, or Liberia." (Reuters, August 20, 2008)

We shudder to think how much this Somali clan will take out of our treasury compared to the pittance they might contribute in taxes. However, the government party line is that immigration is fuelling the economic recovery – well, certainly not OURS!

[This article appears in the August, 2011 issue of the CANADIAN IMMIGRATION HOTLINE. Published monthly, the CANADIAN IMMIGRATION HOTLINE is available by subscription for $30 per year. You can subscribe by sending a cheque or VISA number and expiry date to CANADIAN IMMIGRATION HOTLINE, P.O. Box 332, Rexdale, ON., M9W 5L3.]

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