Canada wants more private groups to sponsor refugees
Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 29, 2012
Private charitable groups need to put their money where their mouth is!
Unlike the US where the federal taxpayer is on the hook for refugee resettlement via contractors (like the USCCB in the previous post), Canada has some private refugee resettlement. Before the Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980 (Kennedy, Biden, Carter), US resettlement was done with PRIVATE CHARITY as well.
This article in The Star is a little confusing. But, if I can summarize it: the government wants more private charities to pick up the costs and resettle refugees; they say that refugees assimilate better when cared for by a private charity; the private charities say they don’t want to be told which refugees they must take and believe this is a backhanded way for the government to pawn off its responsibility to private charities.
I say this is solely the responsibility of private charity and not a responsibility of the taxpayer in Canada or the US and we should be going back to that idea—private groups take full responsibility for the financial well-being of refugee families and their assimilation into their new culture (if we are going to bring any at all!).
Here is the article from Ottawa in The Star (emphasis mine):
OTTAWA—The federal government is seeking to offload some of its international promises to refugees onto the private sector.
It’s asking community groups to sponsor 1,000 of the refugees the Canadian government has told the United Nations it will resettle over the next three years.
But at the same time, Ottawa is restricting the groups’ ability to sponsor refugees themselves by placing caps on private applications.
The decisions are raising concerns from not-for-profit groups that they are being forced to carry out the Immigration department’s objectives instead of their own.
Refugee resettlement in Canada is a shared activity between the government and about 80 groups, which have formal agreements with Ottawa to sponsor refugees.
Canada voluntarily accepts about 10 per cent of the world’s refugees. Last year, there were 7,365 government-assisted refugees and 5,585 privately sponsored ones, according to government statistics. [The US is resettling roughly 50,000 to 75,000 annually in recent years---ed]
Between 2006 and 2011, the top five source countries for privately-sponsored refugees were Iraq, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. [Mostly Muslims?---ed]
Immigrants fare better when privately taken care of—hmmmm! Where have we heard that before! But, we will throw you some taxpayer money too (as a sweetener).
A spokesman for the Citizenship and Immigration department said the decision to ask private groups to help settle 1,000 government-assisted refugees was made because research shows refugees fare better when they are brought to Canada by private organizations.
“By providing up to six months of income support for (UN-referred) refugees supported by sponsors, we hope to help organizations new to refugee sponsorship and encourage existing civil society groups to sponsor refugees who have few or no pre-existing family or community links in Canada,” said Remi Lariviere in an e-mail.
Supposedly Canada wants more refugees, but private groups don’t have the money (surprise!).
The department’s Lariviere said Canada is seeking to increase the number of refugees it resettles to a high of up to 14,500 refugees and other vulnerable populations by 2013.
But both Dench and Wiebe said it’s not certain that goal can be met.
Wiebe questions whether the voluntary sector has the capacity or the resources to help resettle more refugees. [Call in the taxpayers!---ed]
But community groups pin the changes to budget cuts — they say it’s cheaper for the government to ask private groups to pick up part of the tab for their international obligations.
Bottomline—There is not enough charitable money to bring in large numbers of impoverished people because private citizens and “charitable” groups only want to sacrifice so much or contribute personally only so much as they bring in ever more culturally diverse, job seeking, and socially needy people. There are not enough private citizens/groups putting their money where their mouth is to be responsible for the immigrants’ long term well-being, so they milk the taxpayer all-the-while claiming we critics have no heart.
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