Family reunification | But what are you afraid of, Madame Fréchette?

The author addresses the Quebec Minister of Immigration, Christine Fréchette

The question deserves to be asked, in the context of the current management of family reunification in Quebec. Your position⁠1 is in contradiction with the values ​​of autonomy and individual freedom advocated by your government, because the choice of a spouse is a fundamentally autonomous choice.

This position raises concerns not only on a humanitarian level, but also on that of the integration of new immigrants. Indeed, the successful integration of immigrants is a fundamental pillar for an open and inclusive society, and the family plays a central role in this process.

Your resistance to proposals aimed at improving processing times for family reunification applications, highlighted by the federal Minister of Immigration, Marc Miller, highlights an approach which seems to favor administrative or political considerations to the detriment of the well-being of families and the integration of newcomers.

This resistance is all the more worrying given that the current delays, which extend well beyond acceptable standards, leave many families in disproportionate waiting and uncertainty that is detrimental to their life plans in Canada.

The importance of family in the economic and professional success of individuals is well documented. It constitutes an essential support network, promoting adaptation and integration in a new socio-cultural context. By hindering family reunification, we are not only facing the issue of physical separation; we also limit access to this vital support which facilitates the integration of immigrants into their new community. This successful integration is crucial not only for the individuals concerned, but also for the host society, because it contributes to social cohesion, cultural diversity and economic dynamism.

What can we say about the situation of this woman, mother of two children, who has been waiting for her Peruvian husband for more than two years, so that he will allow her to return to work and (finally) become attached to her children? Or the Moroccan grandmother who will not represent a financial burden for society, who only wants to see her grandchildren grow up and be around her son and daughter-in-law to allow them to take a few vacations and welcome their children back from school?

Contrary to Quebec values

The quotas and admission targets for family reunification, as they are currently applied in Quebec, ignore these realities. They transform a question of human rights and personal freedom into a simple matter of numbers and statistics, in contradiction with the values ​​of autonomy and openness that Quebec seeks to embody. This approach is not only detrimental to families seeking to reunite; it is also counterproductive in terms of the integration of immigrants, a process which cannot be reduced to quotas or arbitrary targets.

It is imperative to rethink this policy so that it better reflects the values ​​of a society that wants to be welcoming and inclusive. This requires recognition of the importance of family reunification in the integration of newcomers and a desire to facilitate this process rather than hinder it.

Family reunification should not be seen as a burden or an adjustable variable according to administrative needs or political quotas, but as an investment in the future, contributing to the development of individuals and the prosperity of society in its entirety. together.

Your government has the opportunity to show leadership by adopting a more humane and pragmatic approach to family reunification. This requires putting aside political calculations to focus on what is essential: the well-being of families and the successful integration of immigrants into our society. It is time to act with compassion and vision, for the good of all Quebecers, as well as for that of the many individuals and families who aspire to make Quebec their new home.

With respect and hope for change, we invite you, Mme Fréchette, to reconsider your position on this crucial issue. The values ​​of autonomy and individual freedom that you defend must apply to everyone, without exception. Families separated by borders and policies expect concrete action from you that reflects these values. It is time to rethink this approach, for a family reunification policy that lives up to the aspirations of an open, inclusive and dynamic society.

Now is not the time to be afraid of not being able to integrate these new immigrants, but to have the courage to welcome them quickly in order to stabilize families that have already been weakened for too long.

1. Read “Family reunification: Quebec accuses Ottawa of leading an “affront” to its skills”

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