Saturday, June 26, 2010

An interesting proposal in Immigration

An interesting proposal from an economist.

Current policies are not working, he says, so governments should consider charging immigrants for the right to settle.

He has a point, although I don't know if I would go quite so far as to charge $50,000 or use it as a funding point for government programs.

What I WOULD do is change the rules for immigration in order to reduce eligibility for certain social safety nets or to put limits on others. While it wouldn't be realistic to cut refugees off from social assistance, there has to be a point where refugees or new immigrants have to be able to stand on their own two feet without governmental help.

As it sits, CPP is a non-issue unless it is paid into. Old Age Security is only available after a minimum of 10 years, and full benefits are only available with 40 years of residency in Canada. Employment insurance, too, is only available on payment of premiums. When it comes down to it, the only real issue is how long to support refugees in the welfare system, and my answer should probably come as no surprise...

As soon as the case comes up for adjudication, then you're on your own. Win, and you're expected to provide for yourself and your family. Lose and you're paying your own freight during the appeals process. This way, perhaps a couple of positive effects will happen - 1) immigrants will move towards more affordable areas of the country to live, and 2) the government of Canada won't be paying money to keep people the Refugee Board has already determined shouldn't enter the country through that method.

Regardless, this is an issue that requires more thought and debate.

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