Canada is going to double the number of Iraqis it resettles

The numbers are miniscule compared to the refugees the US takes, so what really interested me in this story is that Canada has a government refugee program and a private sponsorship program.   Note in this MSNBC article that a much larger number of refugees come through the PRIVATE program.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – Canada will more than double the number of privately sponsored Iraqi refugees it accepts from the Middle East, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has announced.

“Taken together with government-assisted refugees, this means that the number of Iraqi refugees coming to Canada will have more than quadrupled since 2005,” Minister Kenney said while speaking before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

“Last year our government, at the behest of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, committed to increasing by more than 50 percent the number of resettled refugees from the Middle East in response to the Iraqi refugee crisis,” he said. “I am happy to announce further increases. Canada had planned to raise its private sponsorship program levels for Damascus to 1,200 people in 2009. I have instructed my officials to increase that number by an additional 1,300 people. The number of government-assisted refugees will also increase by 230 people.”

Who are these private sponsors and why aren’t we doing that?   It has been our view all along that refugees would fare much better if privately sponsored with private charity.  These numbers indicate that the Canadian government can’t afford too many.

Canada will resettle approximately 2,500 refugees under its private sponsorship program, and 1,400 refugees under the government-assisted refugees program, through its Damascus mission. This represents a fourfold increase over 2005, when approximately 800 refugees were accepted from Iraq.

For a little perspective on the numbers, consider that the US resettled around 60,000 refugees in the last fiscal year, 13,000 were Iraqis.

Each year, 19 countries from around the world resettle about 100,000 refugees. From that number, Canada resettles 10,000 to 12,000 each year from 70 different nationalities, or one out of every ten refugees resettled globally.

Guess that puts the US at six for every ten refugees resettled worldwide.

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