Immigrants, Immigration and Disability in Canada
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This MRP focuses on the obstacles faced by immigrants with disabilities when they try to gain admission into Canada and during the struggle to settle and integrate for those who do gain admission. Some disabled immigrants are considered inadmissible because of what are defined as “excessive burdens” on state economic resources that impose costs on taxpayers and Canadian healthcare services. Further, individual immigrants and their families have traditional values and cultural norms that make it difficult to integrate into mainstream Canadian society, imposing further disability. This study provides a critical analysis of the ways in which Canada’s immigration policies have exploited and marginalized immigrants with disabilities in Canadian society. It shows that these exclusionary practices contradict Canada’s multiculturalism and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This MRP also investigates immigrant settlement issues related to education, work and social relations, and shows how immigrants are forced to rely on friends, co-workers and family ties in order to survive in Canadian society. In addition, it describes how Canada’s family reunification policies and legislation have historically imposed exclusion on immigrant families with members who have disabilities, and continue to do so. Overall, this MRP emphasizes how Canadian immigration policies continue to focus narrowly on economic factors and argues in favour of a new immigration policy regime based on human rights, equality rights and the ideal of global citizenship rights.