Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged another $26.9 million to migration and protection-related projects in the Americas and Canada’s willingness to accept an additional 4,000 refugees from those two continents by 2028 at the 9th Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.
“Canada values its deep and longstanding partnerships with countries across the Americas, which are crucial to improving peoples’ lives by driving economic growth that benefits everyone, advancing gender equality, and fighting climate change,” said Trudeau.
“At this productive Summit of the Americas, we recommitted to continue working together to build a better future for people across the hemisphere.”
Tackling Irregular Migration
At the summit, Canada also pledged support for Venezuelan refugees and funding to combat human trafficking.
Trudeau also announced further measures Canada is taking to address the irregular migration crisis, including endorsing the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, advancing promotion and recruitment efforts related to Canada’s francophone immigration program, and welcoming more than 50,000 agricultural workers from Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean this year.
In the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, Canada joined 19 other countries, including the United States, in recognizing the positive contributions of refugees and migrants to the socio-economic development of their host communities.
“We applaud the sustained efforts of States in our hemisphere in hosting refugees, providing regular migration pathways, promoting local economic and social integration, facilitating voluntary return, and supporting the reintegration of returnees,” states the countries’ joint declaration.
The countries that inked that declaration are:
- Costa Rica;
- El Salvador;
- United States, and;
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) figures show that 19,810 refugees became new permanent residents of Canada last year.
The Number Of Refugees Gaining Permanent Residency Is Skyrocketing In Canada
By the end of April this year, another 11,590 refugees had become new permanent residents of Canada, putting the country on track to welcome a total of 34,770 refugees this year should the current trend continue.
The surge in the number of refugees coming to Canada is being fueled, in part, by the unlimited number of Ukrainians Ottawa has pledged to welcome under the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel (CUAET) program.
It was established on March 17 to help Ukrainians forced to flee after Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 and provides them and their immediate family members with temporary residency in Canada for up to three years.
Under CUAET, these refugees are eligible for free open work permits and study permits and so can take a job with almost any Canadian employer or enrol in any educational program in Canada.
They are also eligible for a one-time payout under the Canada-Ukraine Transitional Assistance Initiative (CUTAI) of $3,000 per adult and $1,500 per child as well as settlement services, including language training, information about life in Canada, and help in finding jobs.
Parents and guardians can access this financial support by submitting one application for themselves, a spouse, and dependants. Payments will be made through direct deposit, so applicants will need to have a bank account with a Canadian financial institution under the same name as the name of the adult’s temporary resident status document, that is, their work permit, study permit, temporary resident permit or visitor record.
Once in Canada, Ukrainian refugees can apply for permanent residency and any work experience they gain or studying they do while in the country will only enhance their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores should they decide to complete Express Entry profiles and apply for permanent residency.
Canada Agrees To Help Set Up New Financial Supports For Countries Hosting Migrant Populations
By inking the joint declaration at the Summit of the Americas, Canada agrees to work with the other nations to:
- convene multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, and traditional donors to establish new financial support instruments for countries hosting migrant populations;
- improve regional cooperation mechanisms for law enforcement information sharing, protection-sensitive border management, visa regimes, and regularization processes;
- strengthen temporary labour migration pathways, as feasible, that benefits countries across the region, including through new programs promoting connections between employers and workers, robust safeguards for ethical recruitment, and legal protections for workers’ rights, and;
- improve access to public and private services for migrants and refugees to promote their social and economic inclusion in host communities.
After hitting a record-breaking level of immigration, with 405,970 new permanent residents to the country last year, Canada announced it would welcome 431,645 new permanent residents this year, 447,055 next year, and 451,000 in 2024.
Canada’s openness to refugees has made it a darling of the United Nations Refugee Agency.
“Most refugees came to Canada with few, if any, financial resources, and often had to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture,” the United Nations agency has noted.
“Despite these challenges, the results show that refugees do not simply benefit from the safety Canada gives them. In fact, they embrace the opportunity that Canada provides to build a better life and become important contributors to the country’s economy and cultural diversity.”