Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) has dropped Canada’s ranking from 5th position to 6th in immigration integration due to strict policies on immigration and citizenship during the past years. According to the report, the drop in ranking is because of tougher policies for family reunification, strict citizenship regulations, lowering access to health services to refugees. The report states, “Canada has undergone several restrictions in recent years that all together sent Canada in the opposite direction.”
The only good thing in the report is indicator that Canada is still global leader as it still got the most positive views on immigrants. Thomas Huddleston, a policy analyst with Migration Policy Group, said, “Canada is still a global leader. The general public has some of the world’s most positive views on immigrants.” However, he said that it was surprising to see Canada loosing its score and the score might further continue to decline like the United Kingdom if Canada go down this path.
The Migration Policy Group gathered statistics and information on Canadian policies in eight areas including: labour market mobility, family reunion, access to education, health, political participation, long-term residence, access to nationality and anti-discrimination.
Huddleston further said, “Is Canada still a global leader? Certainly . . . but there are worrying changes.”
“We find that MIPEX scores very strongly relate to public opinion. The higher the score, the likelier it is that public see immigration as a contribution rather than a threat,” added Huddlestaon.
The restrictions imposed by Citizenship and Immigration on the ability of Canadian citizens and permanent resident to sponsor parents and grandparents is hurting Canada’s ranking. Canada has not only paused the Parent and grandparent sponsorship program and then later only allowing a very limited number of applications each year. The cost of sponsorship is also increased along with the eligibility criteria.
Canada also lost points due to its recent policies to restrict access to health services to the refugee claimants. According to report Canada was behind 17 countries in the health for immigrants.
Canada also score very low on the issue of integrating the immigrants into the political system. Canada does not allow permanent residents to vote before becoming the Canadian citizenship.
The report is an indicator how the stricter immigration policies are hurting Canadian ranking among the other nations.