Immigration policy has always been and continues to be a subject of intense political and public debate. This book examines the ideas, interests, institutions, and rhetoric that have shaped Canada's immigration history.
Beginning their study in the pre-Confederation period, the authors tell of the dramatic transformations that have characterized our attitudes towards immigrants. While, at first, few obstacles were placed in the way of newcomers to Canada, the turn of the century brought policies of increasing selectivity. The massive deportations of the First World War and Depression eras were exceeded in harshness only by the tactics implemented during the Second World War, when nearly all of the Japanese-Canadian population was incarcerated and when Jewish refugees fleeing from mass extermination abroad were turned away from our shores.
Bringing us up to date with an analysis of the more expansionary policies of the 1990s, the authors clarify the central issues and attitudes underlying each phase and juncture of policy decision-making. Their thoughtful study reveals a set of core normative and ethical values that have been fundamental in the making of the Canadian mosaic.