The representative in Canada of the High commissioner for refugees of the United Nations (UN), Jean-Nicolas Beuze, would like to see the government Legault go back on its decision to welcome 10 000 fewer immigrants, including 1,600 refugees, in 2019. In front of the largest amount of refugees since the Second world War, it also deplores the policies resistant to the arrival of newcomers both in America and Europe.
“We met with the new minister of Immigration, Simon Jolin-Barrette, and we sincerely hope that the decision to reduce from 50 000 to 40 000 the number of immigrants in Quebec this year may be changed. I hope that the minister will hear our call to revisit his decision. It would be necessary that at the outset, it is not so emotional on this issue, and come to rely on statistics and the census. It is necessary that elected officials make decisions for the benefit of the provinces and Quebec”, he pleaded Friday in a conference given at the Centre multiethnique de Québec.
“There are some provinces who are demanding that the refugee come to their homes, including the maritime provinces who are in need of manual workers in several industries such as fishing and agriculture. They also like that the refugees, more than the so-called economic immigrants, have tended to remain in their community of origin by the need to rebuild,” says Mr Beuze.
“Not to mention that the refugees often arrive with a lot of children and that of the provinces that grow older, such as the New Brunswick recorded more deaths and people who leave than the number of births. The arrival of refugees, their allows, among other things, to keep schools open and services based. It is necessary to stop seeing refugees as a burden and see them rather as a contribution to the economy,” he continued.
Mr. Beuze, it is false to claim that the refugees do not integrate well in their host society. “We know that according to the census of 2016, a refugee takes 10 to 15 years to reach the same socio-economic level that a Canadian born in Canada. This is nothing at all in a society such as ours. In addition, their children have better outcomes than those born in Québec at the university level since these children have a lot of pressure at this level, but a pressure that became positive, reaching a level of life better than their parents”, he explains.
According to Mr. Beuze, this is the irregular arrival of some 20,000 asylum seekers a year at the border post of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, which has helped to change perceptions about refugees in Quebec. “Previously, there had been a surge of solidarity huge towards the syrian refugees in 2016. “It was there that we saw a change in the discourse of some politicians to win points in the election and some of the newspapers also talked about “illegal aliens”, a word that inspires fear, the risk, then, that there are no illegal aliens even if they enter the country irregularly before applying for asylum.”
Yet, the needs are great for refugees and Mr. Beuze believes that this is far from the western countries that make the greatest efforts. “Rather, these are poor countries such as Bangladesh, which had hosted 800,000 refugees rohingyas in six weeks, the Mexico, with el salvador, Tanzania with the refugees of South Sudan, the British with the Venezuelans. This is not Europe, North America, the United States and Canada who have to deal with the bulk of the problem.”
According to him, Canada is the third country in importance to the resettlement of refugees, could do more and invest more at this level at the time where the United States is always number one with 25 000 to 30 000 refugees received per year, greatly reduced their home compared to 80 000 to 100 000 by year of the Obama era.