Canada is built on generations of multifarious foreigners. But its treatment of those without the imprimatur – or protection – of citizenship remains troubling.
As a country we’ve crafted a narrative of welcoming persecuted persons. A federal government website, “A History of Refuge,” showcases centuries of asylum-seekers, from Quakers to Rwandans, and Canada’s Nansen Refugee Award in 1986.
And we rely more than ever not only on immigrants, but on people who leave their home countries to work here for short periods of time under strict restrictions and with limited rights.
But thousands of non-citizens deemed undesirable find a very different Canada than that advertised.
The federal government has taken steps to discourage so-called “bogus” refugees: Former Immigration and Refugee Minister Jason Kenney – who took particular issue with Roma refugee claimants – actually flew to Hungary to tell people not to bother coming to Canada to file refugee claims.
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