Controversy on Immigrant treatment in Canada exists. Some Canadians support immigrant social exclusion, while others stand for social inclusion. Fuller-Thomson, Noack, and George (2011) report on more than six million Immigrants being in Canada by 2006, forming about 20% of the Canadian population. The immigrants are usually in better health when entering into Canada but show deterioration in health after a little stay. Social exclusion is blamed for the immigrants’ health problems. This paper is aimed at defining social exclusion and explaining types of social exclusion and how they cause suffering to Canadian Immigrants. The paper will further explain why some Canadians support Immigrants social exclusion, and why others think exclusion should be abolished. Lastly, the paper will offer solutions to social exclusion. Social exclusion as the primary cause of woes on immigrant to Canada is, therefore, my main point of focus.
The environment in which we live determines our health and general wellbeing. Society influences this environment. Social factors of health encompass the conditions that a person is born in, grows, stays, works, and becomes old, and that give direction to their health status (Chapman, 2010). When one is raised in an unhealthy environment, his wellbeing is significantly affected. Social exclusion as defined by Newbold (2010) is lack of belongingness, acceptance, and recognition in society. The socially excluded immigrants to Canada are more socially, economically and psychologically vulnerable (Oxman‐Martinez et al., 2012).
Exclusion to marginalized areas leaves immigrants with poor and crowded housing (Newbold, 2010). According to Newbold (2010), some immigrants are discriminated in the housing department, or sent to deprived neighborhoods with limited social resources and housing. Poor communities and poor housing increase the chances of poor health. Oxman‐Martinez et al. (2012) further reveals the general wellbeing of children of immigrants, especially those of school-going age affected by social isolation. Isolation occurs both in school and out of school where peers seclude each other based on color, origin, and language.
According to a report by Oxman‐Martinez et al., (2012) Social exclusion causes psychological exclusion. The report reveals that immigrant school going children are psychologically affected by perceiving their teachers treating them differently from indigenous Canadian children. The treatment, as documented in the report is determined by the length of time stayed in Canada, ethnicity, level of education of the parents, and single parenthood. Additionally, depression, loneliness, and stress have led to psychological complications causing diseases such as ulcers and high blood pressure to the immigrants.
Labor market exclusion takes the form of excessive recruitment of immigrants to low-income sectors and occupations of the economy, very low chances of employment in high-income sectors and professions, and high rates of unemployment and underemployment. Economic exclusion has born racialization of poverty which encompasses powerlessness, voicelessness, insecurity and vulnerability on the hands of the native Canadians (Brown, 2018). Economic exclusion hurts the health of immigrants. Brown (2018) reports many racialized workers being forced to work in poor and hazardous working conditions that affect their health.
Reasons for support of Social Exclusion
Canadians expressed support on Social exclusion in the Policy Research Initiative report (2003). According to the report, Canadians, unlike Americans and other people, hold peace, safety, and security as top priorities. Victims of crime and violence have expressed their fears about Immigrants. Police reports reveal that most criminal cases involve immigrants. Therefore, native Canadians choose to seclude themselves from Immigrants. Another reason for the support of Immigrant social exclusion, as documented in the report is the lack of government involvement of native Canadians when making migratory rules. Additionally, Canadians view social exclusion and discrimination as embedded in society hence have to tolerate the Immigrants presence.
Reasons for supporting Social Inclusion
Some Canadians support social inclusion. According to the Policy Research Initiative (2003), social inclusion will lead to an increase in employment, for both Canadians and immigrant because some immigrants have started businesses and would hire Canadians to their workforce. Besides, social inclusion will enhance civic engagement, eliminate discriminating and racism on both Canadians and the Immigrants.
Conclusively, research indicates that Canadians fear on Immigrants is a complex cultural phenomenon that they have to tolerate. Time and engagement with the local Canadian communities would help in reducing the fear among Canadian citizens. I would recommend the government to engage the Canadian people, from the grassroots in addressing the concern that they have with the Immigrants. In my view, Social exclusion leads to suffering and slow economic growth hence should be discarded.