Sponsors with the Mennonite Central Committee Ontario welcome a newcomer family from the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Ken Ogasawara/Mennonite Central Committee Ontario)

Sponsors of refugees call on new government to do more

Groups which privately sponsor refugees to come to Canada are calling on the newly-elected Canadian government to bring in more refugees under its own auspices. The Canadian Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holders Association (SAH Council) says private sponsorship of refugees should be in addition to, and  not instead of, government-sponsored resettlement. 

A call for increased government admissions

The group agrees with the admissions target of 20,000 refugees for the private program. However, it asks that the government increase its commitment to the same level of 20,000 or higher. In 2019, the target for the number of government assisted refugees is between 7,500 and 9,300. Up to 1,650 wold be admitted under a joint government and private sponsorship program.

Besides providing financial support and helping refugees settle, sponsors like these Mennonite groups sometimes organize typical Canadian activities like a weekend and campfire at a beach. (Kaylee Perez/Mennonite Central Committee Ontario)

Calls to advance ‘Canada’s humanitarian tradition’ of providing refuge

The SAH Council wants government “to protect and advance Canada’s humanitarian tradition of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution and civil war” particularly given the U.S. reducing its resettlement commitment to “an historic low of 18,000 individuals in 2020.”

The Canadian Council for Refugees says recent changes have made it difficult to privately sponsor non-Syrian refugees. They include very slow processing, restrictive rules limiting which refugees can be sponsored and more burdensome paperwork.

Canada’s private Sponsorship of Refugees Program was established in 1978 and has resettled more than 275,000 refugees.

Faith based communities like the Mennonite Central Committee Ontario are among the individuals and groups that privately sponsor refugees and welcome them at the airport. (Ken Ogasawara/Mennonite Central Committee Ontario)

Categories: Immigration & Refugees, Society
Tags: , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

For reasons beyond our control, and for an undetermined period of time, our comment section is now closed. However, our social networks remain open to your contributions.