The Comment

Mass Deportation on the Horizon (part three)

TORONTO – I do not envy the task of Minister Miller who is responsible for Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In these next few weeks, according to none other than Prime Minister Trudeau, a week ago, in Winnipeg, who announced a “plan” for [mass] deportation designed to reset Canada’s immigration policies. There were no details other than admissions that “some people” had been “gaming the system”.

 This is as close to an admission of “illegality” on the part of participants in the immigration process as anyone can imagine. It involves knowingly engaging in an act not permitted by law, either by commission or by omission, to enter our country by a means otherwise prohibited.

At the base of it all are the projections for economic growth and decisions to stamp the country with a particular cultural-demographic identity. It is a concerning dynamic not easily made more comforting for those who read the Annual Reports for IRCC or the Main Estimates outlining the Government’s expenditure plan in that regard. Cuts in both number of people and dollars spent to achieve the new “sanitized numbers” are the order of the day – consequences be damned, until we hear from Minister Miller.

No matter what, the concept of a functional Multiculturalism that balanced integration versus assimilation challenges in nation-building is gone, for the near future. There are too many entities with personal or corporate financial profit “gaming the system”.

They have been ‘outing themselves’ in recent months. The beneficiaries of student visas -universities, colleges, schools and their agents (for approximately $30 billion annually) – private sector unions and the businesses their memberships serve, including their pension funds.

It is a more complex knot than people may be willing to admit. And it is not new. While students and temporary foreign workers may be easy to identify, other types of workers may be in the country illegally . The identification of this group may create more problems and reveal more undesirable activity than we might wish to admit as a collective.

One Union, with which I had dealings as Minister, claimed to have a list of 10,000 such workers, despite my insistence on referring to them as undocumented. That number is not likely to have diminished, given the Minister’s statement and his task. The union official was pretty candid with me at the time, insisting that they were all ‘documented’ and filed in a cabinet in his office.

Of that I had no doubt. However, for every one of them the Union had to have issued a Social Insurance Number (SIN). Only Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has the authority to do that. The incremental illegalities were/are staggering in their numbers: from manpower recruitment, to workplace abuses, to education charges levied against provincial governments to educate the children of the undocumented, to human smuggling, to union dues directed to pension funds, hundreds of thousands of people and untold billions of dollars (that is for another article) ferreted away from the reach of government and the contributors themselves.

The politics of solving the problem may prove no easier today than years ago. Even deportation as the most egregious solution may be no solution at all. Those workers will have earned some financial entitlements that cannot/should not be summarily wiped away by deporting the rightful owner and their families.

That would not be the “Canadian way”. A wrong is a wrong no matter the victim’s origin. Two decades ago, the victims were in the main Southern Europeans (mostly Portuguese, given the employment sectors). There has been virtually no immigration from those countries in recent years. The problems and the consequences of the undocumented have only multiplied and implicated more individual in all strata of life, as well as in policy formulation.

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