We must accommodate immigrants

Fake news seems to be the most common expression lately; especially by the person who most vehemently coined the term.

With the fast and largely uncontrolled social media spouting all kinds of stories, including fabricated tales, the majority of society is left with open mouths and wondering what to listen to or not.

Having said that, some purveyors of news, both legitimate and fake, are so loud and dominant that they can no longer be ignored.

It’s what comes out of these loud and boisterous mouths that is beginning to shape a lot of political and social agendas. Opinions are flying at us faster than what the majority of us can absorb.

Take all the rhetoric about the security threats that refugees deliver to our countries. If you listen to some leaders, we have never before faced such an influx of criminals, drug dealers, rapists, prostitutes and whatever other crime that can be attributed to humanity. They will decimate our countries; take jobs out of our citizens’ hands, and lead us all on the road to perdition.

While all this fear-mongering verbiage assaults our ears, we tend to lose sight of the reality of the situation. For instance, we already have criminals, drug dealers and all the other vices now attributed solely to refugees and immigrants.

But to fill all of our minds with fear-mongering, threats and the like is tantamount to telling us that we are not bright enough to make decisions on our own; we need politicians and opinionists to do it for us.

Are there problems associated with mass migrations of desperate people? Of course there are. But the only time we will be overrun by the flood is if we bury our heads in the sand and deny that a strategy has to be formed to assist in the resettlement of new residents in our country.

We could, of course, turn away any who don’t arrive according to the immigration protocol previously established, like we did to the Jews during the Second World War, or with the influx of Japanese and Chinese immigrants.

What we have found out is that Canada is no exception to the anti-immigrant sentiment. We also have a history of some major abuses.

“They are taking jobs away from our citizens.” Really? Having been in the position to manage a workforce, offering entry-level employment, I found that the most reliable, steadfast workers were immigrants; almost without exception.

Did I have problems with some of them? Of course, I did, but no more than with Canadian citizens.

One of the issues is the differences in lifestyle, so instead of just plunking these folks somewhere and leaving them to their own devices, would it not be better to educate them through compassionate instruction the way that we live in this country?

If we ourselves are resistant to change, why would we expect immigrants to make changes in their lives just to suit us? Is that not exercising a double standard?

Perhaps the forecasts of migrants are true; if so, changing our attitudes is paramount. History teaches us that an unwillingness to changes of accommodation often causes civil wars, adding to the already high levels of stress within a country.

We are not going to stop what is happening worldwide on the illegal migration front, so would we not be better off exercising our Canadian values to accept and teach others so that we do not have to add more stress to our lives?

In a short few years, worldwide migration numbers will be 10 times the entire population of this country.

We have a choice to make: do we change our attitudes in order to accommodate the influx, or do we do nothing and face a civil war in the future?

Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.

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