Trudeau's approach to immigration is losing public support

Trudeau is hands-down the most divisive politician in Canada.

(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

By: Candice Malcolm

Canadians are increasingly opposed to Justin Trudeau’s cynical immigration schemes.

A new Ipsos poll found that half of Canadians want lower immigration numbers and only 6% want increased immigration. This is the lowest approval rating of Canada’s immigration program since pollsters started tracking public opinion on immigration in 1975.

These numbers echo a poll released in July showing that most Canadians disapprove of Trudeau’s handling of the illegal border crisis — and despite media spin, most do consider it a “crisis.”

Another new poll commissioned by the federal government found a “public backlash” against illegal immigration. Foreign-born Canadians who came to this country legally, in particular, oppose the government’s immigration priorities.

“It’s unfair,” said one immigrant about the surge in illegal border crossings.

The typical knee-jerk reaction from both the Liberal Party and the mainstream media is to slam those who oppose more immigration as “intolerant,” “xenophobic,” or “racist.”

The reality is far more nuanced, and wanting responsible, rules-based immigration is not xenophobic. This point should be obvious, especially given immigrants themselves — new Canadians from all over the world — lead the opposition to open border policies.

The more complicated truth is that immigration requires a delicate balance, and support for mass immigration has never been unconditional.

Canadians will go along with Canada’s generous and open immigration policies, but only if they trust the system.

Public opinion is turning because of Trudeau’s approach to immigration. Not only is he sacrificing the immigration basics, but it also appears he’s doing it for cynical partisan reasons.

On the immigration basics, Trudeau is failing on three fronts: 1) maintaining the integrity of the system, 2) selecting immigrants who will be successful, and 3) focusing on integration and welcoming newcomers into the Canadian family.

First, Trudeau’s lax border policies undermine the integrity of our immigration system. If you respect Canada, you will respect our laws. You will play by the rules and carefully follow them to come here legally.

And if you’ve immigrated to Canada legally, it’s especially frustrating to see others jump the queue, cross illegally, and receive preferential treatment.

Trudeau’s platitudes and policies have encouraged more illegal border crossings, giving many the sense that Canada is being taken advantage of by dubious asylum claims streaming in from a safe and prosperous country.

Second, Trudeau shamelessly panders to extremist communities and plays vote-bank politics — as his disastrous trip to India showed. His government introduced a partisan scheme to boost the number of elderly parents and grandparents immigrating to Canada.

While Trudeau officials claim they’re increasing immigration to boost the economy, they’re selecting migrants who will more likely be dependent on government handouts and a net drain on social services.

Third, Trudeau has turned his back on Canada’s integration programs — the essential elements that help ensure newcomers succeed in Canada.

Whether it’s stories of Syrian refugees living in budget motels (including cases of refugees trashing their hotel rooms, stealing private property and harassing hotel staff (as Sheila Gunn Reid of Rebel Media uncovered through investigative reporting), or asylum seekers filling up homeless shelters and college dorm rooms in the GTA, Trudeau’s integration programs have been a total mess.

To add insult to injury, Trudeau thinks it’s “racist” to question his reckless immigration policies.

Trudeau is hands-down the most divisive politician in Canada.

Canadians deserve better, and if Trudeau’s best response is to lash out and blame the public, his problems are only going to get worse.