Afghans

Courtesy CBC

In an effort to escape the clutches of the blood-thirsty Taliban, more than a million Afghans have asked to immigrate to Canada, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser on Monday told reporters Canada has accepted 6,750 to date.

“We look forward to welcoming even more Afghan refugees,” said Fraser.

Cabinet last August 13 said it would allow 20,000 into Canada, later raising the quota to 40,000.

“When do you expect the Canadian government to fulfil its promise to bring 40,000 Afghan refugees to Canada?” asked a reporter.

“I know there are a lot of people who are interested in taking part in our effort,” replied Fraser.

“I anticipate that if we remain on track, sometime in the next calendar year, now that we’re in 2022, we will cross the 40,000 threshold,” said Fraser.

The number of Afghan requests to settle in Canada totaled “in excess of one million,” he added. Afghanistan has a population of 40 million.

“The circumstances of course are heartbreaking in Afghanistan,” said Fraser.

Requests to settle here “would include people who reached out by e-mail to the Department of Immigration or Department of Foreign Affairs expressing an interest in taking part in Canada’s program.”

“It is not necessarily one million distinct applicants,” said Fraser.

“I use the point to illustrate the pressures the system is facing when it comes to processing and identifying 40,000 cases that qualify.”

Canada let 405,000 immigrants from all nations into the country last year, eclipsing the previous record of 400,870 in 1913. It was the first increase in federal immigration quotas in a national recession.

Cabinet has proposed to raise the national quota to 411,000 more immigrants this year and 421,000 next.

Previous Liberal and Conservative cabinets cut immigration quotas in the Great Depression and by an average 22% following nine previous postwar recessions. The cuts followed economic downturns in 1947, 1951, 1953, 1957, 1960, 1974, 1980, 1991 and 2009. Cabinet in the 1957 recession cut immigration quotas by 56%.

“New Canadians who choose Canada as their home play a crucial role in our economic success, our diversity,” said Fraser.

“They help build the richness of our communities and our future prosperity, particularly as we’re seeking to fill gaps in the labour force and restore the health of our communities after the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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