An influx of refugee claimants from the U.S. has been making headlines for over a year now. Since the beginning of 2018, the RCMP has intercepted 12,378 irregular border crossers. These numbers, however, are actually down compared to the same period last year and are much lower than initial projections. So why have politicians drawn a connection between refugees and a housing crisis?
News: Refugee Rights
At budget time over the last few years, we've seen a narrowing of the federal government's focus on economic measures in a way that fails to adequately address the well-being of people, communities and the Earth. CPJ believes that Budget 2019 should prioritize measures to address poverty in Canada, remove barriers to refugee resettlement, and support a "just transition" to a decarbonized economy.
Political pressure is mounting as refugee claimants continue to face barriers to protection at the Canada-U.S. border. With our latest report, Reclaiming Protection, CPJ amplifies the call for an overhaul to the Safe Third Country Agreement. As the countdown has begun to the 2019 Federal election, it’s useful to take a deeper look at exactly what the major parties are saying about the issue, and why.
The BC Catholic
The Safe Third Country Agreement faces an important test this summer as political opponents keep an eye on the number of asylum seekers using irregular border crossings. Meanwhile, a federal court challenge of the Agreement as a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms mounted by the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Canadian Council of Churches, and Amnesty International is working its way through the courts.
Anger. Disbelief. Grief. Outrage. Many of us are feeling emotionally overwhelmed and exhausted as we grapple with the news reports coming out of the United States. As part of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, over 2,000 migrant children have been forcibly separated from their parents since April.
A strong display of global support for refugees was present at the International Refugee Rights Conference, held at York University from June 7 to 9, 2018. More than 800 participants from all parts of the world gathered for the three-day event, hosted by the Canadian Council for Refugees. Citizens for Public Justice sponsored a workshop exploring the topic of how various faith communities can work jointly to advocate for refugees.
EU, UNICEF, and scholarly reports show that women refugees often have a more difficult time securing employment, lack adequate access to important health services, and face a double discrimination effect of being minorities and women. Similar data is found among refugees in Canada, with reports showing consistently lower employment rates for refugee women.
Who can continue effective activism forever – without stopping, taking stock, recharging one’s emotional and spiritual batteries, and counting on true, engaged friends and mentors for support?
At Voices for Peace, a conference in Toronto on Saturday, April 28, over 120 participants took advantage of opportunities to re-charge and refocus. The conference provided a healthy and invigorating mix of energy and reflection.
Canada has a positive record of refugee acceptance and a relatively comprehensive integration strategy. Research has shown, however, that refugees still struggle to integrate in a number of areas. Long term data shows that refugees contribute a great deal to the Canadian economy, achieve high educational levels, and integrate relatively well. Despite strong willingness to start over and succeed in Canada, the process of integration can be long and arduous with many structural and social barriers.
Read the letter
CPJ along with our partners at the Christian Reformed Centre for Public Dialogue, Mennonite Central Committee, and World Renew, call on the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship to fully waive travel loan repayment for all refugees.