Canadian Immigration Policies and how they have Impacted on its IdentityCanada has an extensive and rich experience in regards to immigration policies and immigrants and its deeply embedded in its sense of nationhood. The immigration policy of Canada is one which is very explicit in part due to it being the government’s population policy. Immigration policies are tailored so as to control the growth of the nation.
Since the era of Confederation, the immigration policy has been one which has been customized to allow for growth of the population, provide financial capital and labor for the economy and lastly to settle the land. The immigration policies of Canada have a long time acted to reflect the Canadian attitudes as well as the security concerns of the nation.Canadian immigration policies require immigrants migrating to the country to have a high proficiency on at least one official language which is used in Canada. This means that the language spoken by immigrants has a big impact on determining whether they will be allowed or not to enter into the nation(Al-Haque and Marianne Larsen 11). The language effect on the immigrants is emphasized upon since the nation mostly requires economic immigrants who have credentials and are able to communicate fluently so as to be able to transition efficiently in the Canadian culture. The language effect is considered as a key element since facilitation of economic activities as well as the cultural and social participation in the Canadian ways of life will only be achieved by using a language which is instrumental in unifying Canadians and immigrants together.
It has been observed that Canada has over the last century had a less stellar record in matters of immigration policy. This is due it having excluded or rejected Blacks, Jews, Chinese and Indians in various epochs. Currently, the country no longer practices these policies and hence, the new image projected by Canada is one whereby all immigrants are not discriminated based on their skin or color or even religion. The government does however reject immigrants who are from certain occupations and there is a prerequisite of the immigrants having a certain prerequisite in terms of their language proficiency(Nelson et al 7.). This in turn leads to having immigrants from certain parts of the world being only able to be accepted in Canada.In order to target a certain class of immigrants only, Canada in 1967 introduced the points system. This system targeted only potential immigrants who had characteristics which did coincide with the growing interests and needs of the nation.
The points system had a number of programs which immigrants had to pass in order to fulfill immigration policies. The federal policy program is one of the points system used in this determination. This program is responsible for having a total of 81% of all the economic immigrants’ admissions and 46% of the total admissions which are conducted. Skilled workers are required to have at least work experience of one year in a skilled, professional or managerial occupation so as to qualify for this program. They are further evaluated by the points system in regards to their age, adaptability French or English proficiency and education level(Snooks 3).Immigration allows societies to appreciate, respect and celebrate diversity in terms of cultural differences as well as the minorities being allowed to express their own distinctive cultures.
Assimilation and social integration is achieved by building common national identities. Canada unlike other European nations which have had trouble in maintaining social cohesion due to the risk of the rising ethnic diversity brought about by immigrants has escaped violent protests, clashes and demonstrations between the minority groups and the state through being able to reasonably accommodate all other minority groups and immigrants in its borders(Snooks5). The various immigrants entering into Canada with diverse religious views as well as cultural differences have been able to leave in harmony with the local natives of Canada due to a number of reasons.
Unlike other nations, Canada has never sought out to build a single national identity. Since its inception in 1867, there were two founding fathers who had totally different cultures, languages, histories and religions. There are the French in Quebec and the English in Ontario. Hence it is evident the image of Canada from the beginning was one which aimed at accommodating different cultures and groups as equals and in this process, it has become a tradition which is still being observed. There are also concerns of protection of the minorities rights such as the English individuals inhabiting in Quebec as well as the French minorities residing outside Quebec during the creation of Canada(Al-Haque and Marianne Larsen 19). This manifestation can be traced up to the recent creation of the Canadian Charter Rights and Freedoms. Undoubtingly, this rich history of Canada has influenced greatly the manner in which immigrants and individuals from other cultures as well as other backgrounds are able to seamlessly integrate into Canadian culture.After the creation of Canada and even before it was incepted, it was already a nation of immigrants.
Immigration has for a long period of time been a part of the natural order in which has led to the economic growth of the nation. A significant number of Canadians pride themselves as a nation which embraces and welcome nationalities from diverse backgrounds, the expectation in return is to have the immigrants contribute positively towards the growth of the nation. Canadian immigration policy is different from a number of European nations since it has different perspectives towards allowing immigrants in its borders.
This is evidenced from the immigrants being highly educated sometimes much more than the Canadian born citizens. This in return has led to the immigrants having high adaptation towards modern knowledge based societies. In addition, the typical Canadian immigrant is one who is considered as highly literate and has the skills to succeed in the Canadian culture and society(Nelson et al. 23). Hence the image created of the Canadian immigrants is one which they are highly motivated, ambitious, educated as well as a capable individual who has the potential to contribute to the society in a positive manner. Hence, the image Canada has created when compared to other European nations and U.S in general is that its immigrants are highly educated unlike their counterparts in other nations.
In summary, it is evident, the immigration policies of Canada have overtime favored immigrants who are highly educated and have the potential to contribute positively towards the economic growth of the nation. Canada as a nation is tolerant and racially diverse thanks to its immigration policies which allow individuals from a number of societies around the globe to dwell in its borders.