Immigration and Identity

Has anywhere got immigration right?

It is mesmerizing to watch as the cancer of fear worms its way back into the human soul or imagination or wherever it lodges itself. For most of us the first reaction to such widespread fear is disbelief. The second? As it spreads and morphes into populism, racism and exclusion, we are often paralyzed, unable to imagine how to fight back. Mr. Trump has, in a tortured way, done Americans - perhaps all of us - a favour with the extremism of his first week in office. His racist, certainly illegal and probably unconstitutional orders are an abrupt wake-up call.

More than that, they are a warning to Washington's traditional allies to take care. Is this man a stable, trustworthy partner? It took him only a few hours to damage Theresa May's reputation. Canada is the United States’ closest ally - a 6000 kilometre border - and biggest trading partner. But Justin Trudeau is keeping his head down, using officials to negotiate arrangements behind the scen

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Peter Jones 3 March 2017

As an immigrant to Canada myself (from war torn, in spirit, USA) I have learned much from you and indigenous persons here about being a settler - Here in the country my ancestors fought against when settling Maine 400 years ago. Having read The Comeback, I have to wonder whether there are indigenous concerns for the outpouring of outreach to newcomer settlers when First Nations Canadians are receiving so little outreach or acknowledgment within society? The different approaches to immigration foreground our compassion and virtue, but don't take into account the very modernist, colonialist problems that led to distressed migration in the first place. In Canada we all but ignore the wars we fund and enable, and also overlook ignore the fact that Syrians. in particular, would like to return to their country if the violence was remediated. Its a bit colonizing of us to rush to citizenship as if its he only path forward and the best opportunity for "victims." As many Syrians are actually indigenous to their nation/region, in this case couldn't there be an empathic recognition of their desire for perhaps temporary asylum and a return to their homeland wen things are sorted out? And can we be honest about our complicity in the causes of their migration?

Could there be more "training for allyship" with the recognition that Canada isn't just a Crown commonwealth entity but a country based on treaties? And that newcomers are now assenting to be treaty people? Our ways of respecting others from indigenous cultures might then account for the relationship between cultures that both have thousands of years of original cultural history each to consider in the new relation?