Myth: Immigrants Bring Crime to Canada
While some people welcome immigrants with open arms, others aren’t as warm. Since Canada first opened its doors to newcomers decades ago, the unfounded notion that immigrants bring crime into the country has taken root in the minds of many citizens.
With this idea comes backlash, rejection, prejudice, and fear-mongering, which are often used to benefit politicians’ arguments rather than the public safety they claim to be so concerned about. There is a looming stigma about the unknown, about the idea of a foreign being entering our niche, but it’s just that – a stigma, not a fact.
So what exactly are the facts about immigration and crime?
The International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy openly states that immigrants are “much less involved in criminal activity than are those who were born in Canada.” Furthermore, immigrants, specifically in Canada, actually have a lower crime rate than the rest of the Canadian-born population.
And since the 1970s, the overall crime rate in Canada has dropped significantly, in an almost inverse relationship to increasing immigration. It’s also safe to say that the surge of newcomers to Canada is correlated to a reduced crime rate in our county—but correlation does not mean causation.
Refugees seeking asylum and immigrants looking to start their lives in Canada pose very little risk to Canada’s security and sovereignty. They arrive to Canada in hopes of finding security for themselves and their families. Seeking protection from atrocities and hardship experienced by the threats from their homeland, it is a highly unfounded and nonevidential statement to suggest they are responsible for crime in our country.
What’s more, the extensive security screenings refugees and immigrants alike undergo means that it’s highly unlikely any criminal elements would slip through.
It’s unfair to paint all immigrants as a potential threat. We’ve steadily increased our immigration rate not only due to the economical and sociological benefits it means for our country, but to fulfill our national obligation to extend a helping hand to those in need during their most vulnerable times.