In an interview with a news outlet recently, former Democratic Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton said something that seemed to be out of President Trump’s playbook- She opined that Europe needed to get a handle on immigration to combat a growing threat from right wing populists.
She went on to exhort the continent’s leaders to send out a stronger signal showing they are “not going to be able to continue to provide refuge and support”. Now there is something President Trump would agree with wholeheartedly. Democrats and liberals are deafeningly silent on her observations but when President Trump blamed German chancellor Andrea Merkel for Europe’s refugee crisis, he was excoriated by left-leaning liberals.
While Ms Clinton acknowledged the generosity shown by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel who opened the doors to a million asylum, she pointed out that such gestures drove voters into the arms of nationalists like US President Donald Trump.
Right wing politicians across the globe are having a moment. From Italy, Germany, France, Sweden, Hungary to Brazil, right wing parties have either made remarkable political gains or have usurped power. Liberal politicians are on shaky ground. Nationalism is becoming mainstream in a large part due to high levels of migration.
Leaders in the western world, especially PM Justin Trudeau and other provincial politicians should take note of Hillary Clinton’s suggestion on immigration because a backlash against immigration is coming to Canada now considered the last bastion of liberal ideals.
Countries like the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway that were immigrant-friendly have now turned decidedly hostile toward asylum seekers. The most liberal-leaning democracies in a way have contributed to the demise of their liberal societies.
In the US, President Trump struck a chord with voters anxious to get a handle on unchecked illegal immigrants pouring across the border. Well over 11 million illegal immigrants currently live in the US and hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants flood the country every year. This has resulted in massive changes in look and feel of more and more communities.
And the caravans filled with thousands of Central American asylum seekers currently massing along parts of the US border is being seen by millions of Americans as an ‘invasion’.
In 2017, close to 35,000 ‘irregular’ migrants waltzed into Canada from the US. This is a continuing phenomenon with no end in sight is feeding into a narrative of a mini-invasion and an abuse of our generous asylum system. Most of these ‘irregulars’ are likely economic migrants who do not qualify for asylum but given the slow process will end up getting their PR status.
Poll after poll has indicated that Canadians are wary of these border crossers and are concerned that the government doesn’t have a solution to this crisis. Among more enlightened Canadians, the concern is that genuine refugees across the world living in camps aren’t likely to be helped by Canada because they often don’t have the funds to pay human smugglers. The ones showing up at borders in Europe and north America are often better-off individuals from troubled nations taking advantage of asylum laws and the fact that there is tension or trouble in the societies they are fleeing. The recent reported spike in the number of Sikh asylum seekers is a case in point. As we near the Punjab Referendum 2020 and tensions between the Indian government and those seeking an independent state increase, many who might see it as an opportunity to immigrate via the asylum route.
For any society taking in large numbers of refugees its citizens need to accept the changes to the nation’s identity or culture. Politicians need to understand that this feeling is not racist, but simply a way to preserve a way of life and retain what is familiar.
Anchor babies and birthright citizenship
In August the Conservative Party called for an end of birthright citizenship, this was quickly denounced by liberal Canadians who felt that this was not as big a problem as it was being made out to be.
Last week the federal government announced it was studying the issue of “birth tourism”. This belated concern came after new research showed that more babies are born in Canada to foreign residents than Statistics Canada realized.
Using numbers from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, researcher Andrew Griffith found more than 3,200 babies were born here to women who weren’t Canadian residents in 2016 — compared with the 313 babies recorded by Stats Canada. And this is a growing trend.
Wealthy citizens from many third-world countries are coming to Canada with the purpose of delivering babies and gaining citizenship for them.
In response to birth tourism, Australia and New Zealand changed their laws, granting citizenship to babies only when at least one parent is a citizen or a legal resident.
Perhaps it is time for Canada to have an honest conversation about birthright citizenship, refugees and higher levels of immigration. -CINEWS