But hey, I'm a generous person. Maybe it was an honest mistake. Maybe they were having a bad day. Maybe they swear they read this was true, somewhere, at some point. Maybe they just don't know where to look for the facts. Just in case, I thought I'd do them all a favour and gather the information for them. Here, in no particular order, are the real answers to these allegedly hard-hitting questions about Canadian immigration.
- A refugee does not get a $29,000 annual income from the government. The most any refugee can receive in assistance is $9,495 in their first year - $1095 as a one time start-up allowance (for crazy things like food, and a place to live and stuff), and $700/mo. for a maximum of one year (the average refugee gets something closer to $500, however). They qualify for exactly $0 their second year. You may still be opposed to this assistance, but you're sure as fuck off by twenty grand, and several years, no matter how you slice it.
- An illegal immigrant cannot get a driver's license, bank loan, or credit card without breaking several federal laws in the process. In order to get the aforementioned, one needs to produce birth certificates, legal ID, proof of legal employment, a SIN, and proof of residence.
- There are not "millions of illegals" in Canada. The highest estimate suggests approximately 100,000 illegal immigrants are in Canada at any one time. Sounds like a lot, I suppose, but when you consider Canada's population is about 35.5 million people, that means about 0.28% of the population.
- To throw a little more math at you, the belief that huge amounts of our tax dollars go to paying for immigrants, legal or illegal, is completely uninformed. The total amount spent on social assistance (welfare, education supplements, and low-income supplements), is 4 cents per tax dollar. And that is a combined total, meaning it includes both immigrants and born and bred Canadians. Compare that to the 2 cents per dollar that goes to corporate welfare, the 11 cents per dollar that goes to pay just the interest on our federal debt, and the 30 cents per dollar we pay to cover the salaries and benefits of government employees before you go on your next rant. In fact, just consider that each year, we spend about $22,596 paying for Stephen Harper and his staff's...butter chicken.
- The fear that most of our immigrants are Muslims wanting to declare Jihad on us, or fundamentalist Christian Africans that want to...well...be that, is absurdly stupid. For the last 5 years, the vast majority of refugees have been Mexican, Hungarian, Columbian, and Chinese; the majority of immigrants have been Philippino, Chinese, Indian, and...American.
- And, finally, the idea that immigrants are costing us money and jobs and not benefiting us in any way is, again, stupid. I'll throw some numbers at you in a minute, but, really, If you've ever gone out for sushi or had a donair, you've already made my point for me. These are not businesses we, the culinary masters who brought you poutine, would likely be starting up on our own, and they bring in millions of Canadian dollars every year. Further, numerous studies have shown that job creation increases with the arrival of immigrants, and other studies show that, overall, immigrants are better trained for jobs that we just don't seem all that interested in having. There are major worker shortages in several fields - in short, these are jobs we either aren't training for, or jobs that we train here for, and then take to other, higher paying nations. These positions are being filled by immigrants because we aren't applying for them. As for wages, it has been proven time and again that the effect immigrant workers have on our wages is actually positive.
It's not immigrants that pose a threat to this nation. It is misinformation and bigotry. We are going out of our way to pass along non-facts in an effort to diminish the positive aspects of immigration and multiculturalism. We, one of the best educated nations on Earth, are intentionally spreading wrong information. If that isn't threatening, I don't know what is. So, the next time you see one of these posts, the next time your anger at all this unfairness flares, the next time you're tempted to utter the now laughable phrase "they took our jobs!", please, for the love of all that is good, stop. Check your facts. Check the numbers. And check that leftover Chinese takeout sitting in your fridge.