Overview of the History of Canada’s Immigration Policy
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Overview of the History of Canada’s Immigration Policy Researched by Janet Dench Compiled by Loly Rico and Kemi Jacobs Canadian Council for Refugees. People have been coming to Canada for many years ………….

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Overview of the History of Canada’s Immigration PolicyResearched by Janet DenchCompiled by Loly Rico and Kemi JacobsCanadian Council for Refugees



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Canada’s immigration policies (or lack thereof) have always had significant impacts on the people who were allowed to come

Early ‘policy’ was very simple…..


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1896 - 1905 always had significant impacts on the people who were

  • “I think that a stalwart peasant in a sheepskin coat, born to the soil, with a stout wife and a half dozen children, is good quality”

    Clifford Sifton, Ministry of Interior


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Population 5,371,315 always had significant impacts on the people who were

96% of European origin

13% population were immigrants

55% foreign-born were citizens

4% Chinese were citizens

43% immigrants female

41% pop of British origin

31% French

22,050 Chinese

17, 347 Blacks

16,131 Jews

In 1901 the Chinese Head tax doubled from the 1885 level of $50 to $100.

1901 census


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1906 always had significant impacts on the people who were

  • Immigration Act passed to stop ‘undesirable immigrants’


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Expanded the list of ‘prohibited immigrants’ always had significant impacts on the people who were

Allowed deportation of immigrants within 2 (then 3 then 5) years of landing for ….

Becoming a public charge

Insanity

Disease

Handicap

Becoming an inmate of a prison or hospital

Infirmity

Committing crimes of ‘moral turpitude’

Deportations

increased

dramatically!!

This Act


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Arrival of Sikhs in BC in 1906-07 resulted in an “anti-Asiatic” parade which ended in a riot

  • State the purpose of the discussion

  • Identify yourself


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1908 - 1910 “anti-Asiatic” parade which ended in a riot

  • Chinese Immigration Act amended to increase those under the head tax and expand list of prohibited persons

  • Border inspection service created at US-Canada border

  • Continuous journey rule imposed

  • New Act allowed Canada to prohibit immigrants belonging to any race deemed unsuitable and expanded deportation grounds to include immorality and political offences;

  • New Act introduced concept of ‘domicile’

  • First Caribbean Domestic Scheme


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  • CENSUS 1911: “anti-Asiatic” parade which ended in a riot

    Population 7,206,643

  • 97% population of European origin

  • 22% population immigrants

  • 47% of these naturalized (9% Chinese, 22% Japanese)

  • 39% of immigrants were women

  • Population: 54% British origin

  • 29% French origin

  • 75,681 Jews

  • 27,774 Chinese, 9,021 Japanese

  • 3,342 ‘Hindus”


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War Initiatives - Terror suspects??? “anti-Asiatic” parade which ended in a riot


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War Measures Act .. “anti-Asiatic” parade which ended in a riot

Increased govt’s power to arrest, detain and deport

‘Enemy aliens’ forced to register themselves and subjected to many restrictions

8,000 – 9,000 ‘enemy aliens’ interned..

…..released in response to labour shortages…..

Wartime

Elections Act (1917)

Disenfranchised all persons from ‘enemy alien’ countries who had been naturalized since 1902

Special Measures….


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And for women…. “anti-Asiatic” parade which ended in a riot(No – not these women)


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And for the women…… “anti-Asiatic” parade which ended in a riot

  • Women's division created in 1919 within Immigration Dept to ‘care’ for single women immigrants

  • 1919 .. Immigration Act amended to add new grounds for denying entry and deportation – alcoholism, illiteracy.

  • Classes of immigrants could be denied entry because of unsuitability, peculiar habits, modes of life or holding property

  • British-born subject to deportation on political grounds (Winnipeg general strike)


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1921 Census “anti-Asiatic” parade which ended in a riot

  • Population 8,787,949

  • 97.5% European origin

  • 22% immigrants

  • 44% immigrants female

  • 58% of foreign-born naturalized citizens

  • 55% pop British origins

  • 33% French origins

  • 126,196 Hebrews

  • 39,347 Chinese

  • 23,342 Japanese

  • 18, 291 ‘Negroes’


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Chinese Immigrants Under Attack “anti-Asiatic” parade which ended in a riot

Several

restrictive

laws come

into effect


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Opium and Narcotic Drug Act led to deportations: 35% of all the deportations in ’23-’24 in Pacific Division

1923 Order issued excluding ‘any immigrant of any Asiatic race’ – except agriculturalists, farm labourers, female domestic servants and wife and children of persons legally in Canada

Chinese Immigration Act – more prohibitions.. Humiliation Day

Doors opened to British citizens, Americans and citizens of ‘preferred countries’. Limitations placed on immigrants from Austria, Hungary, Poland, etc….

1920’s…Attacks on Chinese Immigrants….


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Overt Targeting Of Identified Populations Characterized this period. …

  • 1930… Order further prohibited the landing of ‘any immigrant of any Asiatic race’ except wives and minor children of Cdn citizens

  • Order requiring Chinese and Japanese to renounce their former citizenship before becoming citizens; impact on Japanese.

  • Deportations on grounds of becoming public charge increased – from 1930 to ’34 the deportations on this ground increased 6x.


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A time of period. … terror….

  • Communist party made illegal – grounds for deportation (’31)

  • Deportation of unemployed

  • ’31 political deportations legalized

  • ’32 Red Raid

  • In ’34 94% of applications for naturalization refused

  • Political deportations


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Faith communities join with others period. …

  • To advocate for Jewish refugees (’38)

  • Opposed by many anti-Semitic groups

  • Cdn National Cttee on Refugees and Victims of Persecution formed

  • Cttee focused on individual cases, as unsuccessful in affecting policy


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Reluctant moves on refugee issues….. period. …

  • ’38 Canada reluctantly participated in Evian Conference on refugees with ‘NO’ mandate. Canada’s immigration department was anti-Semitic (“None is too many”)

  • Canada takes some German refugees, but insists on higher payment from Britain

  • In response to ’38 refugee crisis, Canada insisted it would accept only those who met categories for admissible immigrants

  • 2,500 “potentially dangerous enemy aliens” brought to Canada from Britain) and interned (in fact many were Jews)


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Population 11,506,6755 period. …

98% pop of European origin

18% immigrants

45% of these female

71% of immigrants naturalized

50% population of British origin

30% French origin

170,241 Jews

34,627 Chinese

22,174 Africans

Census ‘41


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The End of WW II – Some Change period. …

  • Gov’t resistance to pressure for a more open immigration policy began to give way in the mid ’40;s with:

  • Sponsorships

  • Identity documents

  • Citizenship Act

  • Emergency measures for refugees (economic considerations)


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However… the ’52 Immigration Act still … period. …

  • Gave the Minister and officials significant powers over selection, admission and deportation.

  • Allowed refusal on grounds of nationality, ethnic group, area of origin, peculiar customs, unsuitability re: climate, rate of assimilation, sexual orientation, etc.


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’61 Census followed restriction of admission of family members (temporary) & ’60 Bill of Rights ….

  • Population 18,238,247

  • 96.8% population European

  • 15% immigrants

  • 63% of these were citizens

  • 44% population of British origin

  • 30% French origin


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’60’s Brought Significant Changes ….. members (temporary) & ’60 Bill of Rights ….

  • ’62 – removal of much racial discrimination with new immigration regulations;

  • Assisted loan program extended to Caribbean

  • ’66 White paper promoting a balance btwn economic interest and family relationship

  • ’67 – Points system

  • 1969 Canada finally signs Refugee Convention & Protocol


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Opening the doors…. members (temporary) & ’60 Bill of Rights ….

  • ’71 Multiculturalism policy announced

  • Many immigrants and refugees from new source countries

  • ’74 – Creation of ISAP program

  • ’78 New Immigration Act which identified 4 categories

  • Refugee sponsorship program


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1981 Census members (temporary) & ’60 Bill of Rights ….

  • Population 24,083,500

  • 86% had single European origin

  • 16% immigrants

  • 47% of these female

  • 69% immigrants were citizens

  • 40% population British origin

  • 27% French

  • Greater variety in countries of origin of immigrants


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’91 Census….. members (temporary) & ’60 Bill of Rights …. (domestic worker program, special measures for Salvadorans, CSIS, Singh, ’86 administrative review to clear up backlog, creation of IRB for oral hearings)

  • Population 26,994,045

  • 66% single European origin

  • 16% population were immigrants

  • 81% of these were citizens

  • 51% immigrants female



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THE program….1986 ‘ADMIN REVIEW’

The ’86 Administrative Review …

MADE MANY PEOPLE HAPPY


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BUT IN 2003, MANY PEOPLE ARE STILL LIVING program….

  • IN GREAT UNCERTAINY BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE LEGAL STATUS


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Which policies and challenges are affecting today’s refugees and immigrants?

  • IRPA and lack of a Refugee Appeal Division

  • Bill C-36 (Anti-terrorism Act)

  • War on Terror and Focus on Security (project identity,etc)

  • Safe Third Country Agreement

  • Reuniting families

  • Access to professions and trades

  • Racism

  • Obtaining ‘legal’ status

  • Anti-immigrant/refugee sentiment


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