Against Amnesty

Canada’s population grew by 825,000 in 2022, and then by 1.2 million in 2023, because of mass immigration. To find another year when our population grew by more than 600,000, you have to go back to 1949 – and that’s only because Newfoundland joined Confederation!

With 68% of native-born Canadians and 62% of immigrants telling pollsters they want immigration levels slashed, one might expect Trudeau to put the brakes on this ceaseless inflow to slow his government’s precipitous decline in popularity.

Far from it! In the first four months of 2024, Canada’s working-age population grew by 411,000 – roughly equivalent to the population of London, Ontario. At this rate, we may exceed the population growth experienced in 2023 – and no doubt set a global record for rent on one-bedroom apartments as a result!

I regret to inform you, dear reader, that the Trudeau government has managed to find a novel and creative way to make this situation worse. Before Parliament rises for summer, Immigration Minister Marc Miller will submit to the Liberal cabinet a proposal for an amnesty – or in his words, a “pathway to citizenship”.

You see, there are somewhere between 300,000 and 600,000 people in Canada who have no legal right to be here. They stayed after their study or work visa expired, refused to leave after their asylum claim was found to be invalid, or simply snuck across the border. The woke left and the Trudeau government euphemistically refer to this population as “undocumented”.

If I was found roaming the grounds of Area 51, I could tell the security guards that I do not happen to possess an official permit, and thus claim to be an “undocumented” visitor. This does not change the fact that I would be arrested for trespass – words do not alter reality. I will refer to the foreign nationals living here illegally by a more accurate descriptor: illegal immigrants.

The details of the amnesty proposal have not yet been made available, but the concept is straightforward: some portion of the 300,000 to 600,000 illegal immigrants on Canadian soil would be offered a pathway to permanent residency – and eventually full citizenship.

The opening up of a parallel immigration system within our country would seriously strain our already overburdened social safety net, with vast numbers of illegal immigrants leaving the shadows and becoming eligible for the public services intended for – and funded – by Canadians.

It would turn Canada into a magnet for new waves of illegal immigrants from around the world – why apply for a visa when you can sneak in and be handed one later on?

On a more fundamental level, the proposed amnesty degrades the sanctity of Canadian citizenship. A nation’s existence depends upon drawing distinctions between insiders and outsiders, citizens and non-citizens. At the most basic level, this means excluding from citizenship those individuals who broke our rules to get here.

I encourage concerned citizens to contact their MP and demand that they stand against this assault on Canadian citizenship.

Editor’s note: My Counter Current column is published once every two weeks in the Islands Marketplace paper on Salt Spring Island. This piece was published on May 31st, 2024.

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