By Communist Party of Canada
These paragraphs from the most recent Program of the CP Canada, Canada’s Future is Socialism! (available at <<www.communist-party.ca>>) deal concisely with the general principles of an alternative immigration policy.
“With the exception of the Aboriginal peoples, Canada is a country of immigrants, old and new. Comprised of hundreds of diverse ethnic groups, who will eventually merge with French-speaking Quebec or English-speaking Canada, these ethnic groups have the right to preserve their language and heritage and to pass it on to succeeding generations through state-supported language and cultural programs, and through state-supported cultural and community activities. The Communist Party recognizes that this two-sided process of merging and preserving language, culture and heritage, is of long duration, influencing and enriching Canadian culture as a whole.
Immigrant workers from many lands have played a vital part in building Canada’s industries, railways and agriculture. New immigrants form a considerable portion of Canada’s labour force. Immigrant workers continue to suffer from acute discrimination, arising in the main from capitalist exploitation and attitudes of national chauvinism. From its foundation the Communist Party has struggled to end discrimination against immigrant workers, working to expose how capitalism generates racism and national chauvinism, profits from low wage areas, and divides the working class to hold back the overall struggle.
Most immigration to Canada has been structured to support colonialist expansion and capitalist exploitation. In the colonial period, the English and French ruling classes not only directed white settlement that oppressed and displaced Aboriginal peoples; they also exploited most immigrants as a source of cheap labour and primary production. Later patterns of immigration under the Canadian state continued racist, chauvinist, and anti-labour policies in expanding settlement and building capitalist industry. The notorious treatment of Chinese labour in the building of the CPR and of immigrant labour in the textile industry and agriculture are characteristic of how Canadian capitalists have tended to segregate and super-exploit groups of immigrant workers.
Canadian state immigration policy is also class-oriented. Working class immigration is used as a reserve of ready labour to undercut average wages and conditions. Capitalist investors are privileged while victims of imperialist aggression, labour activists and political progressives are turned away.
There is a massive uprooting of millions of people as a result of the growing impoverishment of less developed countries, destabilizing imperialist-inspired wars and environmental disasters, and the growth of criminal trafficking in immigrants. To reduce these international movements of dispossessed people and political refugees requires progressive policies for world economic development and peace – not more repression of immigrants or elimination of their democratic rights.
The communists demand priority in immigration to refugees, elimination of privileged entry to capitalist investors, phasing out of guest-worker provisions except for genuine educational, scientific or cultural exchange, and the full protection of immigrants through an immigrant bill of rights.”