NL Gazette

Canada struggles to reach its 2021 refugee target.

IRCC says global migration patterns have been ‘disrupted by pandemic’

Canada is far from reaching its goal of taking in 81,000 refugees by the end of 2021, according to figures obtained by CBC News. 

Figures provided by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) show that the department has met half of its goal of welcoming refugees by October 31. 

By that date, Canada has admitted more than 7,800 government-supported refugees, well below the federal government’s goal of 12,500. Canada accepts only 4,500 privately sponsored refugees; The admission target for privately sponsored refugees is 22,500. 

IRCC also registered more than 32,000 qualified refugees as “protected persons” – asylum seekers after entry – which was substantially below its target of 45,000.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said: “The reality is that we are facing a rather difficult situation this year. “When you’re trying to get people into Canada at a time when the borders are closed for public health reasons, there are some challenges that are unique to the pandemic situation. 

In a press release, IRCC said refugees now often face stricter travel restrictions in their country of origin – making it more difficult for them to exit – while “international partners” such as the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Refugee Agency have lost time because of the pandemic restrictions. 

“In these turbulent times, we continue to live up to our dedication, reputation, and duty by continuing to help the world’s most vulnerable people find refuge,” IRCC said. 

The department says of the 22,770 refugees resettled in 2020, about a third resettled in Canada.

For Bashar Jazmati, who has been waiting for permission to take her and her family to Canada as refugees since 2019, long waits mean years of fear and uncertainty. 

He escaped from everyday street violence in Syria and arrived in Kuwait in 2015. In 2017 his family came to him. He explained what it was like to raise a young child during the 2015 civil war-like a daily walk with your young daughter interrupted by gun shooting. 

“It was a surreal, neighborhood bullet. I sang about it so as not to draw conclusions from the deafening sound of the bullet,” he said. 

Jazmati and his family lead an unstable life in Kuwait. He needs to renew his work visa on a regular basis and is afraid that he may lose his right to work as a non-citizen. He said important family decisions, such as buying a new car or having another child, have been withheld for years.

 “I haven’t criticized it. From my point of view, I just say it’s difficult because I really need at least one safe job and know that I’ll be staying here for a couple of years. “He said.

Jazmati, had been interviewed with IRCC on March 1st and has not been contacted by the department since then. The family is sponsored by Heidi Honegger in Que’s Chelsea. She said her efforts to get news about refugee claims were lost until the fall elections. 

“I know the government wheels are spinning slowly,” she said. She said she later learned that Amos would not seek reelection after first hearing from the office of local Liberal Party member, Will Amos, that they were looking for information. She hadn’t heard anything from his successor, the liberal MP Sophie Chatel.

Read More: Canada struggling to meet refugee target number for 2021 | CBC News

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