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The Immigration Paradigm Randall Hansen University of Toronto Randall Hansen University of Toronto.

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Presentation on theme: "The Immigration Paradigm Randall Hansen University of Toronto Randall Hansen University of Toronto."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Immigration Paradigm Randall Hansen University of Toronto Randall Hansen University of Toronto

2 Immigration is the issue of our time Each year we accept close to 1% of our population Some 40% of them arrive in Toronto Immigration is the issue of our time Each year we accept close to 1% of our population Some 40% of them arrive in Toronto

3 Questions 1. Whether an overarching Canadian identity can (or should) be maintained. 2. About what can be demanded of new immigrants (and what they can expect from us). 3. About dual and multiple citizenship. 1. Whether an overarching Canadian identity can (or should) be maintained. 2. About what can be demanded of new immigrants (and what they can expect from us). 3. About dual and multiple citizenship.

4 Three slippages 1. An overly lax conception of citizenship 2. A confusion surrounding multiculturalism and what it requires in terms of religious and other forms of accommodation 3. A sort of democratic deficit, a diconnect between the way identity is being constructed & the way in which Canadians which to understand it. 1. An overly lax conception of citizenship 2. A confusion surrounding multiculturalism and what it requires in terms of religious and other forms of accommodation 3. A sort of democratic deficit, a diconnect between the way identity is being constructed & the way in which Canadians which to understand it.

5 How we are doing Canadians hold positive attitudes towards immigration while demonstrating integrationist attitudes Measures of discrimination, vulnerability, income inequality, and social cohesion indicate that all is not well, particularly among visible minorities of the second generation Canadians hold positive attitudes towards immigration while demonstrating integrationist attitudes Measures of discrimination, vulnerability, income inequality, and social cohesion indicate that all is not well, particularly among visible minorities of the second generation

6 Understanding Ethnic Diversity and Social Cohesion in Canada Data show: 1. Patterns of race-based economic inequality 2. High and growing perception of discrimination Data show: 1. Patterns of race-based economic inequality 2. High and growing perception of discrimination

7 Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Canada Much of the current discussion is about Islam Misguided, both on the left and the right: 1. Little evidence of any difficult with Muslim economic incorporation. 2. No evidence of unusual levels of anti- Muslim prejudice, Islamophobia Much of the current discussion is about Islam Misguided, both on the left and the right: 1. Little evidence of any difficult with Muslim economic incorporation. 2. No evidence of unusual levels of anti- Muslim prejudice, Islamophobia

8 Slippage I: Citizenship Summer 2006: Lebanon evacuations Framed in terms of dual citizenship: this is an error Disconnect between naturalization and belonging Declining levels of belonging overall Summer 2006: Lebanon evacuations Framed in terms of dual citizenship: this is an error Disconnect between naturalization and belonging Declining levels of belonging overall

9 Slippage II: Multiculturalism & Accommodation: the reasonable accommodation road show Two basic confusions 1. Multiculturalism and group rights 2. Common laws, differential effect, and discrimination Two basic confusions 1. Multiculturalism and group rights 2. Common laws, differential effect, and discrimination

10 Slippage III: The Democratic deficit Canadians are profoundly integrationist Opposition to rhetoric is driven by an intellectual intellectual elite. Canadians are profoundly integrationist Opposition to rhetoric is driven by an intellectual intellectual elite.

11 Softer measures Recent controversies and elite representation Sharia Law Public Funding of Religious Education in Ontario Recent controversies and elite representation Sharia Law Public Funding of Religious Education in Ontario

12 Conclusion Changes require a retooling, not a radical recasting of policy They are fully consistent with high levels of integration If we attend to these, we can confidently look forward to the next century of immigration Changes require a retooling, not a radical recasting of policy They are fully consistent with high levels of integration If we attend to these, we can confidently look forward to the next century of immigration

13 Policy suggestions 1. Raise the citizenship requirement from 3 to 5 years with a tighter link with citizenship 2. Reweight language requirements more heavily + consider language training and tests at the early post-arrival stage 3. Change little in multicultural policy, but place the accent more on a common framework uniting new and old Canadians, view immigrants not as culture- retainers but as new participants in a common political project embbeded in a secular public culture. 1. Raise the citizenship requirement from 3 to 5 years with a tighter link with citizenship 2. Reweight language requirements more heavily + consider language training and tests at the early post-arrival stage 3. Change little in multicultural policy, but place the accent more on a common framework uniting new and old Canadians, view immigrants not as culture- retainers but as new participants in a common political project embbeded in a secular public culture.


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