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Addressing Racism in Canadian Immigration: A Call to Action



At Ansari Immigration, we've always stood by the principles of fairness, inclusivity, and respect when it comes to immigration practices, in this blog we are going to shed some light on the racism that exists in Canadian immigration. The subject we discuss today is an uncomfortable but urgent one: racism within the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).


The Stark Reality of Racism in the Canadian Immigration Department


A recent report released by the IRCC brings to light some unsettling instances of racism within the department. As a reminder of the emotional toll this takes, we share the story of a client we'll call "Zara". Zara, a gifted software engineer from Pakistan, faced unexpected delays and challenges during her immigration process. She experienced dismissive and unprofessional treatment, a stark contrast to her friend from a non-racialized country who had a smoother, quicker process.


The report's findings align with Zara's experiences. Employees recounted instances of racial prejudice such as managers mocking accents of staff and demeaning comments based on racial or ethnic origins. Furthermore, some employees expressed disdain for people from certain countries and immigrants in general.


The participants, 62 department employees, were asked to rate the level of racism within their workplaces on a scale of one to 10, the average score being a distressing seven out of 10. An alarming 63% of the participants rated racism as a significant issue.


Addressing the Issue of Racism in Immigration


The IRCC has launched the Anti-Racism Strategy 2.0 to address these serious issues, aiming to dismantle systemic racism barriers within its organization.


Specific recommendations include increasing racial representation in management, much like how New Zealand's Immigration Office has successfully achieved. They've managed to employ a diverse workforce that reflects the people they serve, thereby promoting cultural understanding and respect.


Another strategy proposed is scrutinizing potential systemic biases, particularly with the growing adoption of AI-assisted tools. Sweden's Migration Board is a positive example in this regard, effectively integrating human oversight with automated systems to ensure fair decision-making.


The Consequences of Racism in Immigration Policies and Procedures


The entrenched racism within the immigration department has implications on policies and operations. To give you a perspective, the approval rate for immigration applications from majority racialized countries is significantly lower than their non-racialized counterparts. A clear indicator of systemic bias that needs to be addressed.


The report further points out that applications from certain countries or regions are flagged for increased scrutiny. This practice echoes the concerns raised by our client Zara, affirming the need for an anti-racism lens in the IRCC's operations.


The Path Forward: Making Meaningful Changes


While it's encouraging that the immigration department is committed to fighting racism, fostering a culture of inclusion, openness, and respect, it's evident that there's a long road ahead. Steps are being taken to establish safe and independent channels for reporting racism and discrimination, akin to the successful systems in place in countries like Australia and the UK.


At Ansari Immigration, we stand with those affected by these issues, advocating for an equitable and unbiased immigration system.


Your Trusted Immigration Consultant


As a leading immigration consultancy firm in Vancouver, Ansari Immigration is committed to the best interests of our clients. Our team is diverse, comprising members who have experienced the immigration journey firsthand. We understand the challenges that can come up, including discrimination, and we work tirelessly to ensure our clients feel respected and heard.


We invite you to explore our blogs for more insights on various topics such as student visas and study permits, healthcare, workers' immigration to Canada, and in-land sponsorships. Our expertise is here to guide you as you navigate the complexities of immigration to Canada.


Together, let's work towards a more inclusive and fair Canadian immigration system. Your journey, your dreams are important to us. Let us help you make them come true.

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