Anti-immigration versus Pro-immigration
The arrival by sea last month of 492 Tamil asylum seekers continues to serve as a lightning rod for anti-immigration sentiment in Canada. For starters, you have a segment of the population that is fearful. They suspect it is only a matter of time before many more boatloads of refugee claimants land on our shores and they feel powerless to prevent the onslaught they foresee. These Canadians have been conditioned to expect the worst-case scenario even though the facts suggest otherwise. Over the past few decades we have, on occasion, experienced the “en masse” inflow of asylum seekers by sea. These incidents have been few in number and have never led to a pattern of similar activity. Moreover, everything that I have read on the subject indicates that our country was well able to absorb the intermittent influx without negative consequences. In my opinion, our government leaders could be doing a lot more to assuage the concerns of worried Canadians. They most certainly ought to refrain from feeding their angst.