Canada to Resettle More Iraqi Refugees

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 23, 2010) - Canada will extend its measures for Iraqi refugees for at least two additional years, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. As a result of today's announcement, Canada will resettle an additional 8,600 refugees.

In 2009, in response to ongoing conditions in Iraq and requests from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Canada more than doubled the number of resettled refugees it would welcome through its mission in Damascus, where most Iraqi refugees apply. Canada committed to resettling approximately 2,500 refugees a year under its private sponsorship program between 2009 and 2011. In 2010, Canada also increased the number of refugees from Damascus it plans to resettle through the UN program as government-assisted refugees, from 1,400 to 1,800 per year.

"These refugees choose to wait for the chance to come to Canada legally, rather than pay human smugglers to help them jump the queue. The Government of Canada appreciates their respect for our laws, and we look forward to welcoming them to Canada," said Minister Kenney. "It is unfair to those seeking to come to Canada through legitimate, legal means such as the measure I am announcing today, when others pay human smugglers to help jump our immigration queue. When this happens, Canada's immigration system becomes less fair, and less balanced."

With today's announcement, this commitment has been extended by least two additional years to 2013. "Canada already has a generous resettlement program. And now, up to 8,600 more refugees will find protection in Canada," said Minister Kenney. "At a time when many other countries are scaling back their refugee programs, we are actually expanding ours."

As part of the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, which was passed into law earlier this summer, the Government of Canada will increase the number of resettled refugees received each year by 20 percent. This includes 2,000 more spots in the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and 500 more government-assisted refugees. This means that Canada will welcome as many as 14,500 refugees a year through its resettlement programs. Canada already resettles one out of every 10 refugees or 10 percent of the refugees resettled globally through its refugee programs.

These increases come as Minister Kenney is encouraging more groups to come forward and sponsor a refugee. "Canada has a long humanitarian tradition of helping those most in need. Over the last few years, we have resettled more than 3,900 Karen from Thailand and we are in the process of resettling up to 5,000 Bhutanese refugees from Nepal."

Canada is a global leader in resettlement. In fact, thirty years ago, thanks to the outpouring of support from Canadians, the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program came into being as we welcomed more than 60,000 refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. More recently, Canada welcomed the remaining Vietnamese who had been living in the Philippines without status since the late 1970s.

In total, through the PSR Program, Canada has welcomed more than 200,000 refugees from all over the world, over and above the number of refugees resettled through the government assisted program.

Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CitImmCanada.

Posted In:

Ad Disclosure: The rate information is obtained by Bankrate from the listed institutions. Bankrate cannot guaranty the accuracy or availability of any rates shown above. Institutions may have different rates on their own websites than those posted on Bankrate.com. The listings that appear on this page are from companies from which this website receives compensation, which may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or all available products.

All rates are subject to change without notice and may vary depending on location. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and credit unions, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site where you can find additional information. Those with a paid link are our Advertisers. Those without a paid link are listings we obtain to improve the consumer shopping experience and are not Advertisers. To receive the Bankrate.com rate from an Advertiser, please identify yourself as a Bankrate customer. Bank and thrift deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Credit union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

Consumer Satisfaction: Bankrate attempts to verify the accuracy and availability of its Advertisers' terms through its quality assurance process and requires Advertisers to agree to our Terms and Conditions and to adhere to our Quality Control Program. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the institution you choose, please click here.

Rate collection and criteria: Click here for more information on rate collection and criteria.