As of Monday, Sept. 10 of this year, the Canadian government has revoked the citizenships of 19 out of a staggering 3,100 “cases” whom the government firmly suspects of being in the country illegally. On top of the 3,100 being investigated, there are 7,900 cases of fraud that the government is, “kinda unsure about, but wants to check anyway.” That brings this immigration audit up to a mind-boggling 11,000 cases. This is a ludicrously high number, considering that up until last year, fewer than 70 citizenships had been revoked since the Citizenship Act was passed in 1947. Since the immigration fraud crackdown has been in effect, 600 former permanent residents have either been removed or denied admittance to Canada, and another 500 permanent residents have had their citizenship applications denied.
These strong-arm tactics which utilize “the full strength of Canadian law” are being employed by Jason T. Kenney, the Conservative MP from the Calgary Southeast riding. He is also the current Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism.
“Canadian citizenship is not for sale,” Kenney told reporters at a press conference on Monday. Good show, Mr. Kenney – completely undermine the multiculturalism portion of your “Right, Honourable” title by investigating up to 11,000 people, many of which the government isn’t even sure are illegal immigrants. Following the announcement, over 1,800 people actually abandoned their proper immigration applications. These abandonments come, of course, while there is a labour shortage in Canada.
Yes, it’s never been a better time to be a foreigner to Canada. The xenophobia displayed by the incumbent Conservative federal government is just sickening. This crusade against illegal immigrants follows the announcement of the severance of diplomatic ties/closure of Canadian embassies with Iran. I suppose the Prime Minister thought that this would align Canada with the rest of the western world who, are at best, on shaky ground with Iran; however, when even American journalists are calling your moves “rash and nearsighted,” you know you’ve screwed up big time.
And if that’s not enough, this idiocy gets even better! Jason Kenney has set up a citizen fraud tip hotline! Now you, the God-fearing, Anglo-Saxon citizen, can report your non-white and different-looking friends and neighbours of suspected immigration fraud. We saw similar tactics in 2001 under the Bush administration in America. In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, George W. Bush urged the American public to notify the government of “suspicious activities” in order to stop terrorism, both domestically and abroad. This ought to show you how much shit these governments have on the shelf.
The serious issue is that the government expects all Canadians to be suspicious of all immigrants. The problem with this sort of a request of the public is that any “foreign looking people (read, non-white Canadians) will be targeted while illegal immigrants who are not visible minorities will more than likely get an easy pass. A policy like this promotes profiling of people based on their perceived race or their ability to speak English. Frankly, it’s quite sinister in its simplicity and childishness. If the government is going to behave like children, then we need to treat them like they are children. Soon enough, they’ll either come to their senses. Or, they will destroy us all, but that’s a risk we should be willing to take.