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Media Miss KEY Potential Impact of Tory “Citizenship” Resolution

August 28th, 2018 · 17 Comments

A resolution passed at the federal Conservative Party policy convention in Halifax over the weekend deserves serious  consideration by our elected officials … and not for just the “birth tourism” impact the media have been emphasizing in their coverage.

The resolution, supported by a small majority of delegates, if ever introduced in Parliament and then passed into law would deny automatic Canadian citizenship to children born here if  neither of the parents are Canadian citizens or hold legal permanent resident status.

The motion was motivated by growing concerns over birth tourism … under which a pregnant mother who is a citizen of a foreign country comes to Canada and has her child …. thus garnering automatic Canadian citizenship/Passport/education/health care/social safety net for the baby … and possibly easing the whole family’s entry/sponsorship into the country down the road.

However, the numbers behind birth tourism hardly support such a major change in long-held Canadian citizenship rules/rights: news reports say the number of babies born in Canada to foreign-citizenship parents totally anywhere from 699 in 2012 to 313 in 2016.

As Global News noted, all Canadian births totalled more than 383,000 on 2016 … so the tourism births amounted  to only 0.1%.

So what’s the REAL concern?

I put it to you a real target of the Tories’ new proposed policy … unstated, but a growing concern for many Canadians … are the thousands of FAKE refugee claimants who have been crossing illegally into Canada for the past year and a half.

Read the actual resolution that passed: ““We encourage the government to enact legislation which will fully eliminate birthright citizenship in Canada unless one of the parents of the child born in Canada is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.”

Birth tourists would be only some of those affected … a small part, in fact.

Last year alone, more than 26,000 refugee claimants entered Canada illegally through fields and farms along our southern border and you can add to that another 7,612 who entered Canada illegally in the first four months of 2018.  On top of the 7,810 who made legal asylum claims at actual border crossings in 2017.

Many Canadians believe MOST of  those are just economic migrants saying “to hell with Canada’s immigration laws”  or having to apply legally as immigrants and going through the lengthy process that entails.

These illegals know or are taught very well by sympathetic supporters how slow the Canadian “refugee claimant” system operates and how it can be “worked” (housing, financial assistance, health care, social services) … for years, while bureaucratic assessments, interviews, and then, if turned down, how appeals and court appeals and ministerial appeals etc. can drone on.

And they also know how HELPFUL it could be to have a child or two born here while going through the whole process … perfect props for teary-eyed mothers and their Canadian friends/relatives/clergy to then parade before the cameras, pleading NOT to ship these beautiful “Canadian-born citizen”  children … and their parents … off to some lesser land.

(I can almost hear the CBC National producers/camera crews/reporters starting their engines!)

However, if these people … however sad their plight …  are NOT real refugees, but just flagrantly ignored our immigration laws and processes … that’s a real problem in many Canadians’ minds … and both a political and financial problem for our governments.

And while these illegal economic migrants use pregnancies and births to get around the rules  … real aspiring immigrants to Canada sit overseas … doing the paperwork, answering questions and waiting their turns.

How silly of them!

Having a baby here seems so much easier … unless the Tory proposal gets some serious consideration and Canada’s increasingly abused citizenship system changes … as it already has in other countries.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: You can get First Alerts of all new postings on this blog by following @harveyoberfeld on Twitter. No spam…just first alerts of new topics posted.)

Tags: British Columbia · International · National

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Diverdarren // Aug 28, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Harvey, you pretty much tell it like it is on this one. I’d say every Canadian can see there is a problem with an immigration law that allows for our citizenship to be obtained because someone buys an airline ticket.

    What could be a real basis of criticism for this move to stop foreign nationals from committing immigration fraud on Canadians?

    If there is criticism, it will stem not from any real debate over the merits of the issue, but from an inherent political bias towards the authors of the call for change.

    Immigration is an issue that for most Canadians is a “no-brainer”, but because political parties have agendas, the “leadership” ignores the will of the people as a whole to carry out their party plans.

    Be it the Immigration Act of 1947 and ’77 that has allowed for this “birth tourism” to actually become a reality… Liberal majorities in Parliament in both cases.

    Or,

    The perverted cancelled policy; Canadian Immigrant Investor Program, that allows for foreigners to purchase Canadian Citizenship beginning in 1996 (Liberal majority) and ending in 2014 (Conservative majority), however there are still Investment= Citizenship programs at the provincial level. (and they should be cancelled too)

    The question is; where are the real people that support these programs? Sure, political hacks support them because they put party ahead of county, but has anyone ever sat with a non-party Canadian and heard them say, “We should give away more of our citizenship to anyone that has the money to buy one, or fly over to YVR/YYZ and drop a kid, file a birth certificate and go back home and wait.”

    As for the immoral United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees… that will need to wait for a bit, but birth tourism could be ended tomorrow, were the Liberals to put Canada ahead of their agenda.

    Start with cancelling visas to women in their 3rd trimester.

    (Response: When it comes to REAL refugees, fleeing for their lives from ethnic cleansing and murderous dictatorships, I support Canada having as generous a welcoming policy as we can. But as you can tell from my blog, I really have a problem with economic migrants who totally ignore immigration laws and making applications and just think they have a RIGHT to come, stay, work, collect benefits here just because they want to … and make a mockery of those who apply legally and go through the proper process. The world has changed ..and Canada should update its laws to target those who disrespect us … and our laws. h.o)

  • 2 D. M. Johnston // Aug 28, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    It seems the chattering class in this country remain blind to any form of social change.

    Sad to say, so much opinion about immigration and refugees is formed around the swimming pools and tennis courts of Phoenix, Palm Springs and Florida..

  • 3 Gene The Bean // Aug 28, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    I agree Canada has been horribly taken advantage of by certain countries and peoples of those certain countries. I am NOT in favour of granting automatic citizenship under this system of ‘farming’ babies. I also think the CRA should really go after all the folks involved in this scam. I betcha they make a million dollars a year and don’t pay a dime in taxes (well, we already know, rich people don’t pay taxes, that is the working mans job…..).

    I also don’t believe any refugee crossing the border illegally to try and claim some kind of ‘status’ should EVER jump in front of a legitimate refugee or immigrant following the rules of immigration.

    Unless a refugee can prove they are at significant risk, they should be given all the info required, their names entered into the ‘queue’ and then returned to their own country to ‘wait their turn’. Obviously those fleeing genocide, civil war etc would be exempt. I don’t see those folks from Haiti fleeing anything except poverty and they should follow the rules, just like most (if not all) of our ancestors did.

    (Response: I agree. The problem is differentiating between legitimate refugees, fleeing terrible dangerous situations, and economic migrants who disguise themselves as FAKE refugees to fool Canadian immigration rules, laws, processes and the Canadian people. The latter should apply like other prospective immigrants … and in view of the increasing numbers trying to circumvent or “work” the system for years, have kids here so they can beat the rules, we should indeed look at changing our citizenship rules to ensure those kids do not automatically become Canadian citizens if neither parent is a citizen or a legal landed immigrant. But, despite the Tory delegates passing the resolution calling for that last weekend, I don’t see any politicians so far willing to do that. h.o)

  • 4 Gilbert // Aug 28, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    I feel it necessary to point out that we must not use the word “illegal” when talking about people. Let’s just call them irregular like irregular verbs and irregular plurals. By the way, let’s also use peoplekind whenever possible. Only use man in negative words like gunman, madman and conman. (For those who think I’m being serious, I’m being sarcastic.)

    (Response: Too bad you are just being sarcastic: I was going to offer you a letter of reference for a job at CBC’s The National. h.o.)

  • 5 e.a.f. // Aug 29, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    The big problem is the Immigration Refugee Board, which was formed during the Mulroney years. Prior to that federal government employees decided who was granted status and who wasn’t. then Mulroney decided it ought to be political appointees who made that decision. They appointed them and then so did the Liberals and then the Conservatives again, and now the Liberals. these political appointees have lovely large offices, much larger than regular GOVERNMENT employees and they are not subject to oversight by a manager. Managers of the offices in which they “work” have no reporting relationship with these political appointees nor are there any game rules regarding how much work they actually perform. It may come as a surprise to many but most federal government workers are required to do a specific amount of work, in a specific time. In many areas they have case loads and these case loads much meet time limits. the political appointees, not so much.

    My suggestion, first get rid of the political appointees. They make much more money than the federal workers who once did this type of work. Then hire people who can make the decisions and stay with the time lines so that people don’t get too settled in this country. If it takes 5 years for a decision to be made, hell, they ought to be permitted to stay if only for the sake of the kids who have started to grow up here. If all decision about who stays and who goes is made within 6 months, it would be so much better.

    Now that is going to require more staff, and that may cost money but people have to make a decision about what is more important to them, perhaps more expenses on staff or keeping queue jumpers out.

  • 6 e.a.f. // Aug 29, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Now those who use their initiative and walk into Canada and jump the line, its 26K last year., That truly isn’t a great number of people. What perhaps bothers many is that these are people of colour who came from countries which do not include western Europe.

    Have a good look at who belong to the Conservatives these days. For those who aren’t familiar with “the Rebel” media, they aren’t what you’d call all in favour of people of colour and one of their people now works for Scheer. So what the Conservatives passed at their convention, in my opinion, has more to do with colour than with anything else.

    Many who comment on this blog may not have the same “concerns” regarding people of colour and truly are concerned about people not going through the system. Going through the system has always been a Canadian “value”. Jumping the line, just isn’t polite or appropriate. However, when they invented the “investor” class they gave the rich the opportunity to jump the line. So why are people so upset when the poor do it?

    The baby tourism things is seen more here on the lower mainland I expect than in other parts of Canada. As Global reported 17% of all babies born in Richmond General are “tourism babies”. that means a lot of Richmond Moms have to go to other hospitals to give birth. Not a fun thing to have to do. They could start by shutting down the baby tourism “hotels” in Richmond and other places in Greater Vancouver. No one builds a 20 bedroom house with 20 bathrooms just for their 19 kids.

    How do we regulate people coming into Canada. We have a very long border and posting immigration officers every where would be a fairly large expense and as we have seen in the U.S.A. it doesn’t work.

    If people enter via the U.S.A. we could institute the “safe country” and deny entry. However, that can be difficult given winter and the poor condition of some of those who enter illegally. We could put them in jail if they enter illegally, but that is again a large expense and how do you house kids in jail?

    Perhaps the best way to deter people from coming in illegally is to change a few rules, which includes you come through a port of entry and have that port of entry staffed to the hilt to deal with people as they come and deny and return right there.

    Many who are coming from the U.S.A. are economic refugees, such as those from Haiti, but those coming from some countries in Central America are fleeing violence which is as bad as any war torn country. Their being returned to the U.S.A. will only result in them being returned to their country of origin, with or without their children and most likely be killed along the way.

    we give out 10 year visas to wealth citizens of communist china so they can come and go as they please, buy property here, essentially live here without every having to go through an immigration process. Then we have the poor, who are not going to make it in unless they cross illegally.

    I really don’t have an answer and I doubt if anyone else has either. Either way people will die if returned to their country. As one person said, if a Mother thinks the safest place for her child is in a dingy on the ocean, then where she is coming from must be horrific. So, if a person is willing to risk death by walking through fields in the freezing winter weather, what they have come from must be much like death also.

    Oh, wait an idea All those entering illegally will be moved to the Yukon and stay in a town built for those awaiting the decisions regarding whether they get to stay or are deported. it could cost a fair amount,. but if they could wait in the artic, we certainly would weed out who truly wanted to stay for fear of death elsewhere.

    (Response: I know colour (and religion too) is a factor in some people’s opposition to the illegals … but I would also note most Canadians have supported and shown great compassion, even financial support, to REAL refugees coming from Syria and other oppressed lands … most of them people of colour and usually Muslim. So that tells me what Canadians hate to see are people … anyone … who are not real refugees, just migrants … who jump the line, ignore the law, disrespect Canada’s right to have a say in who lives and works here. And if word gets out that most of those now being processed are allowed to stay “on compassionate grounds’ after they have a kid or two while waiting for their cases to be considered, the numbers of new illegal arrivals will skyrocket …just as they did in Europe. ho.)

  • 7 RIsaak // Aug 30, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Within 4 miles of my home there are at least 3 birth homes under construction, all on ALR land, all very ostentatious, and with these facilities soon coming on stream, the pressures on our local hospital will no doubt be ratcheted up further.
    Of course the sales people who recruit foreigners for these birth homes all pay taxes?
    Of course the investment needed to build these huge birth homes was all obtained legally in accordance with Canadian tax laws?
    This is currently the tip of the iceberg, what will be the case should this continue?
    My friend recently had to attend the birth of his first grandchild at a Vancouver hospital, his daughter resides in Richmond, her doctors are all in Richmond, but no beds on 3 south maternity, of course translators were paid by us to aid the birth tourists and citizens get inconvenienced?
    Even Flipper Joe, is against this (A Liberal MP, go figure), almost every Richmond resident I see is strongly against this, what would you folks say if your local hospital was catering to foreigners over citizens?

    (Response: Hospitals will tell you birth tourists pay very well for the hospital services they receive here…it’s actually a money maker for the hospital. What they don’t tell you is …. even if the child and family return to wherever they are from after the birth … WHO will pay for all the health and social benefits as a “Canadian” that child will enjoy later when he or she eventually decides to return “home” to Canada? h.o.)

  • 8 John's Aghast // Aug 30, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    e.a.f. No need to send them to the Yukon. We have a BC gem in the heart of the Chilcotin that was once owned by local people. They lost it due to unscrupulous bankers, lawyers and politicians.
    I won’t bore you with the details, but the property eventually ended up in the hands of a Saudia Arabian whose assets have been frozen by the government because of terrorist association.. This highly productive asset sits unused in the heart of BC.
    I would like to see it reverted to its once productive use as a cattle ranch, operated and maintained as a settling place for immigrants, rather than housing them at great expense in downtown Toronto and Vancouver. Give them the tools and a chance to make it or break it.
    A win for BC, for agriculture, for immigration.
    Right now it is locked up with the National Security Board. Use it or lose it! We don’t even know if the ‘alleged terrorist’ even pays property taxes.

  • 9 e.a.f. // Aug 30, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    #7, yes I think I know the houses you mean. They are a tad large. Why the city of Richmond isn’t shutting them down is beyond me. Of course they will have to wait until they’re up and running but they do need to be shut down. Of course then we will hear form the new Richmond political party its racist, so the white mayor and his supporters shut up.

    As you point out the real problem here in Richmond is the women of Richmond and their families hve to go to other hospitals, some times as far as Lions Gate. That is a bit of a hike. It has to stop.

    When that goes on, its jumping the line for the rich, as opposed to those who walk though fields to get in. There isn’t half the ink spent on the rich jumping the line, but there sure is for those who are poor. Of course everyone is making money, one way or another from the rich.

    By the time the kid returns to Canada, they will be a teenager and be able to attend school here, then university and eventually will live here as a Canadian and then bring in the rest of the family under the family reunification clause. that is the one I dislike because in the end, when aged parents are brought in it does cost Canada money. If the kid lives and works in Canada in the end we may have an asset, but the same could be said about the person whose family “walked” into Canada.

    Oh, John Aghast, if you know of a town, I’m good with that, just a central place where people could wait their decision, the kids go to school and the parent learn English. Its actually not such a bad plan.

    Harvey I know quite well Canada has never been anti refugee. We have a good history of taking refugees, starting with the Hungarian School of Forestry which then moved to U.B.C. We took in 100k Vietnamese and we did it all by just interviewing people in the camps, many without I.D., they just sized them up.

    Will we have as many as Europe wound up with? Its hard to say? If they knew they were going to John’s town, who knows they might not want to come at all and if we had fast decisions, within 6 months, they might not try either. However, if a family walks from Central America to the Canadian border, yes, what they are leaving is so bad, the truly are real refugees and if you have a look at what is going on there, yes, its a war zone and more people get murdered in some of those countries than do in real war zones.

  • 10 hawgwash // Aug 31, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Harvey, this is off target on the topic of this blog but it all flows together in the fleecing of naive Canadians.

    Ian Young has written about this before but now pulls it all together after months of digging.

    https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/society/article/2158716/special-report-how-canadian-immigration-fraud-saw-860-rich-chinese

    https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/society/article/2159930/anatomy-scam-how-rich-chinese-gamed-canadian-immigration

  • 11 e.a.f. // Aug 31, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    Hawgwash, read the articles and yes that is how it happened and continues to happen. There are people who can tell you this if you live in Richmond. You can figure it out if you live in Vancouver and you can figure it out if you worked at Immigration Canada, going back to the 1980s/90s. Nothing in the articles is new to me, but it is interesting to see it in print.

    The government knew these millionaire immigrants were gaming the system way back in the day. They would get in if they “created” jobs for Canadians. I do recall it might have been 3 jobs. So they opened the businesses, hired 3 people, got their citizenship and then sold the business to the next one, who wanted to come in entrepreuner class. It was a scam,
    so really, if the government continues to welcome the millionaire scammers who not only don’t pay taxes here, but in some cases have their families collect benefits/welfare, what every why can’t some poor refugee who walks across the border, who may actually get a job and pay taxes stay. Well as my Mother always said there is one law for the rich and one for the poor. In this case most of the rich got to stay and the poor get deported.
    I’d rather have a refugee, walked across a field or came in the regular way than a 100 of these millionaires because they are only whoring our system and country. The refugees actually get out and work and try to improve their lives and those of their children.

  • 12 13 // Sep 1, 2018 at 7:16 am

    Harvey, your point of view on this shows plain old common sense. Once again conservative values make sense and liberal idealism is suspect.

    (Response: Moi … conservative? Me ..the guy who ranted against Harper and voted for Libs in the last federal election and the NDP in the provincial? But I guess I’ve also given the federal NDP and Greens a hard time too. Common sense values belong to no particular partisan ideology…just a willingness to keep it real. h.o.)

  • 13 Gene The Bean // Sep 1, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Comments 9, 10,11 are outstanding.

    #12 … ??? Well, for starters having ‘conservative’ and ‘values’ in the same sentence is pretty funny. Idealism….. yes, who wants a better future for themselves and others? Who wants people to be treated with respect? Who wants people that are sick, old or disadvantaged to be helped? Who wants the planet to be respected instead of destroyed? Who wants equity and equality? What kind of monster is that…?

    Harvey, more Trumplodytes headed to prison, another sudden plea bargain yesterday ….. who knew it was illegal to secretly take millions of dollars from a Russian billionaire and put it into Trumps campaign and then lie to the Senate judiciary committee and the FBI about it ? A post about all those headed to prison and why sounds like a good future post topic to me…

    (Response: This is off topic …but I will say I’m not at all surprised by the number of sleazes caught up in the Trump term of office … but I think the most despicable hypocrites are the religious right …. especially the literally holier-than-thou evangelicals who, in their support of such a morally, ethically and racially bigoted moron Trump, have abandoned so much of what Jesus and the Bible ever taught … and that they PRETENDED to believe. h.o.)

  • 14 Gene The Bean // Sep 1, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Harvey, I do apologize for being off topic.
    My comment #3 says all I have to contribute on this topic.

    Your response to #13 is agreed to by any rational, self thinking individual that has even an ounce of morality or decency. To clarify though, it is the “white evangelicals” of the ‘preach but do not follow’ crowd that have embarrassed themselves hoping to hold onto their ‘white privilege’. It is simply racism.

  • 15 Richard Skelly // Sep 2, 2018 at 5:30 am

    Played right, this could be a winning issue for the Conservatives.

    Just going after “birth tourists” is justifiable but might impact Tory chances in BC ridings with substantial Asian-Canadian voters. Using the cover of making Canada less attractive to the illegal or “irregular” immigrants (as the Liberals breezily call them), this potential Tory plank might well get voter buy-in nationwide.

    But only if the illegal/irregular border crossers increase. Heard a BBC or PRI radio the other night on CBC that, according to anecdotal reports, numbers are declining because of more interceptions-deportations by ICE agents in the US.

    (Response” The key is “played right”: I believe most Canadians are quite sympathetic to the plight of refugees and even economic migrants … and we saw what a disaster it was for the Tories when they overplayed the xenophobic card in the last election. But there certainly IS a growing exasperation among many with those who are just ignoring our laws … so Scheer has an opportunity there … if played right. h.o.)

  • 16 e.a.f. // Sep 2, 2018 at 11:55 am

    #15, you have a point, however, there is something people don’t want to give up and that is those cheques the Liberals send out every month to people with kids. Its a vital part of many people’s income. With Harper there were tax credits, which worked well for those who could take advantage of them. Scheer is selling the same snake oil, tax credits. Trudeau sends CASH! or something like it, which many people actually need to feed their kids. You don’t have to be below the poverty line to benefit from the monthly cheques either.

    Last winter while in a large chain drug store and the grocery store next door, I noticed all the people, there in the evening. At the check out in the grocery store I asked the clerk what they were giving out free, which was drawing in so many people. She said, its the federal government cheques. We see an increase in shopping. With high housing costs in B.C., its something people will keep in mind.

  • 17 Harry lawson // Sep 3, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Harvey,

    The issue is that as a country do we effectivly enforce our laws?

    The definition of refugee is is constantly changing as is our perceptions. We must remember because a story falls out of the news cycle the crisis ,the misery still continues.

    A question I have are the hospitals marketing themselves like the schools do to international students?

    (Response: I don’t know if the hospitals actively market their beds … but word easily gets around… as do our citizenship/Passport rules. Enforcement of laws sometimes take a back seat to political considerations: I have no doubt … as the federal election approaches, if anger/resentment continues to grow in Quebec and Ontario against Hispanic/black illegal migrants, Ottawa WILL get tougher on the issue; however, notice how slow and even head-in-the-sand Ottawa is to those millionaire Asians on the West coast living in very expensive homes, but declaring little income, thus not paying much in the way of taxes or even those who launder multi millions here, because they believe tougher crackdown could upset local Asian voters. I disagree … think most of those voters, who do pay their fair share of taxes, would support a crackdown, but for some reason, the politicians seem afraid to adequately enforce the laws. h.o.)

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