Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

New study finds that immigration costs Canada up to $23 billion a year

Map of Canada

Map of Canada

Story in the National Post. (H/T Andrew)

Excerpt:

Newcomers to the country generally make less money and chip in less in taxes than the national average.And allowing 250,000 immigrants into the country annually is costing us all billions of dollars each and every year, according to a study by the Fraser Institute.

The study, dubbed Immigration and the Canadian Welfare State, sharply criticizes Canada’s current immigration system, using earnings and other figures from the 2005-06 fiscal year reported by 844,476 people in the 2006 Census.

It claims the group as a whole earned on average about $10,000 more and paid about $2,500 more in income taxes annually than those within the sampling who had settled in Canada in the previous 18 years.

The study also found immigrants typically pay a little over $6,000 less in property and sales taxes than the national average.

That means the approximately 3.9 million immigrants who settled in Canada between 1987 and 2004 are shortchanging federal government coffers by between $16.3 billion and $23.6 billion annually, depending on how many of those newcomers have moved back home, emigrated elsewhere or died, the study said.

[...]The study also takes on the notion that immigrants are helping the country by taking menial jobs that most Canadians don’t want.”Immigrants do fill jobs that Canadians don’t want and thus benefit the economy but, in the absence of immigration, these jobs would pay higher wages and would be filled by Canadians or eliminated by the application of labour-saving technology,” the study states.

“Under these conditions, poverty in Canada would be reduced substantially.”

As for changes, the study suggests annual immigration numbers should be increased or decreased, depending largely on “market forces.”

The study also recommends Canada be more selective, allowing only newcomers who have employment lined up, offering them citizenship only if they hang onto their job for a set number of years and deporting those who lose their jobs.

Canada has a welfare state with single-payer health care, public housing, welfare payment and free public schools. So, people who cannot pull their own weight can rely on all of these goodies provided by the working Canadians. Because of these generous benefits, Canada has a lot of people who would like to move there from poor countries. And they can’t possibly take them all in because it is costing the working Canadians billions of dollars. But there is a way for them to allow more immigration – they just have to stop all of their government handouts. If there were no handouts then everyone could come to Canada freely, because they would go home again unless they held on to their job and pulled their own weight. They could even bring their families once they had worked hard enough to support them – but those family members would not be eligible to get money from the government.

So what do we as Americans learn from this? Well, we need to make sure that the people who come here are selected on the basis of their skills, their education, their ability to pay their own way. We need to have a big fence to keep illegal immigrants out, and we need to have a huge gate to allow skilled legal immigrants in. And they can even bring their families with them – as long as they don’t get a dime of taxpayer money in cash or through social programs – they should have to pay for everything they use, including schools and health care. And they should not be eligible for a dime of government money until they get their green cards after years of demonstrated hard work and clean living.

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