Canada’s generosity in welcoming immigrants from abroad is renowned. By and large Canadians welcome immigrants with open arms. After all, Canada is a nation whose success has largely been achieved by generations of hard working and determined immigrants. It’s not a stretch to say that immigrants are the lifeline of this country and that our future depends on them.
However, patience runs short when it comes to human smuggling. The rusty boatload of Tamil refugees who arrived in Vancouver last summer was a good example. Although sympathetic to the helpless victims on board, Canadians worried that it could open the floodgates to continued trafficking.
On September 19, 2010 YouNxt was asked to participate in a round table discussion with the Canadian Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Vic Toews, as well as with community leaders from various other ethnic groups to discuss this issue.
The general consensus was that the government is too soft when dealing with human traffickers and that sound measures should be put in place to prevent criminals from taking advantage of the immigration system. A failure to act decisively could inevitably lead to a massive collapse in public support for our immigration system.
With that in mind, the Government of Canada introduced today a new Act to deter these abuses. The aim of this legislation is to crack down on human trafficking and to prevent Canada from becoming an easy target.
It’s a good start in ensuring the credibility of our immigration system. Is it the perfect solution? Time will only tell.