“Why get into a cultural mud-slinging match? Numbers is the key argument.” Zeb Landon, Nov. 6
Yes. We would like it just to be an antiseptic discussion about “keeping the numbers down”. That is after all our focus. But the comment below by “regularchap” from Chagford, England complaining about the British government’s cold feet on Immigration Minister Phil Woolas’s initial pledge to get tough on immigration illustrates our problem. It is more complex than mere numbers.
Immigrants from the traditional cultures of developing countries place a greater importance on maintaining contact with their extended families. When the Canadian government decided three decades ago to aggressively compete for the widest pool of business and professional immigrants in the world, they determined that it was important to allow potential Asian candidates the option of eventually sponsoring the rest of their family, however tenuous the connection might seem to European eyes. Hence “chain migration”, where pulling in one pearl is like pulling in the whole pearl necklace. Thus, thanks to the changes to the old Immigration Act in 1978 which favoured family re-unification, journalist Diane Francis felt moved to write, with some hyperbole, that whole villages have since moved to Canada intact.
Now of course, political parties like the NDP, with MPs like Bill Silksay, who spearheads such efforts, wants to broaden the definition of “family class” even further. No doubt had the NDP formed the government, we wouldn’t have had entire villages move to Canada, it would have been entire cities. Cities like Bombay, Calcutta, Shanghai, etc etc. And its inhabitants probably would have been fast-tracked to the few public sector job openings available. One doubts if a single firehall in Canada would ever hire a Canadian-born Caucasian male again. Any criticism would be referred to a Human Rights Tribunal for prosecution. Hearings set for November 11th, the day set aside to remember the people who fought to save our country from a foreign invasion and for freedom of expression.
OK. I can be forgiven for some exaggeration too. The point is that political parties know that manipulating the immigrant selection criteria to favour “family class” is a passport to Asian and third world voting blocs and a spring board to power. Not too many elections in Canada are won, or will ever again be won, by appealing to native Canadian aspirations, which are fragmented by a number of other issues. When Sikhs who represent just 5% of the BC electorate can comprise 15% of the delegates to the Liberal leadership convention and be completely focused on one issue, liberalizing family reunification and immigration, then that is an indication that the cultural dog wags the demographic tail in Canada. There is no concentrated anti-immigration lobby in any party to counter act this kind of influence, nor a media to give voice to their concerns if it existed.
The second point that “regularchap” alludes to is the birthrates of third world immigrants and their descendents . It makes it very difficult for Optimum Population Trust UK to argue that British couples should limit themselves to two children each when South Asian immigrants are having four and five children each.
If you are living in the Love Canal, it is hard to get people stop throwing litter out the window. This is what he said:
Consider New Labour's appetite for meaningless spin. A recent example being the pronouncements of Phil Woolas with respect to immigration. A points-based residence test for non-EU employment migrants cannot limit UK population growth. The engine of UK population growth is "family re-union" immigration, whereby existing citizens from immigrant communities, especially Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian, extend their citizenship to new immigrants through marriage. The second major factor is high birth rates among immigrant communities.
“Regularchap’s” comment was substantiated by an April 2005 Briefing paper by Migration Watch UK entitled “The Impact of Chain Migration on British Cities”. It focused on the impact that chain migration had had on the three major British cities---Manchester, Birmingham and Bradford---by comparing the census data of 1991 and 2001. The report established that Britons of Indian, Pakistani or Banglideshi ancestry were choosing marriage partners from the Indian subcontinent in 50-70% of cases, substantially increasing the rate of household formation and family size. Moreover fertility rates for Pakistani and Bangladesh-born women were decidedly higher than the British average. The UK average was 1.6 while the Pakistani rate was 4.7 in 2001. The Bangladesh fertility rate was 3.9 in 2001. Certainly there is a generational decline in fertility rates in second and third generations. But the environmental crisis is here and now, and the pace of change is glacial. Each year a new wave is brought in to refresh the ranks of cheap labour under the flag of diversity and enrichment.
It seems that to some, attacking broad definitions of family or the procreative right to have 5 children is ethnocentric and divisive, but if the agenda of population growth is going to hide behind the skirts of “culture “ for protective cover it should be attacked. For our mission is not the harmony of people. It is the harmony of people with nature, by placing limits on their numbers.
And as any woman denied access to birth control in the Philippines, Haiti or northern Kenya or three dozen or more countries in the world will tell you, culture has a lot to do with the numbers.