Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

What Do Sponsored Parents and Grandparents Contribute?

Academic journal article Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal

What Do Sponsored Parents and Grandparents Contribute?

Article excerpt


Canada increasingly favours immigration policies based on human capital theory and economic outcomes. Consequently, while immigration is on the increase there is a downward trend in the number of "family class" entrants admitted to the country. The group most seriously affected is sponsored parents and/or grandparents who are also the most vulnerable to criticisms against family class immigration. The discussion is centered on the perceived lack of potential economic contributions of these immigrants. Such a focus, however, overlooks the feminized nature of this type of immigration and the many non-economic contributions these immigrants make. Using multinomial regression modeling of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada data, we examine economic and non-economic contributions of sponsored parent and/or grandparent immigrants and compare them to immigrants of similar age migrating under other categories of immigration. We find that sponsored parents and/or grandparents make significant economic contributions to Canadian society as well as other non-economic ones that are often overlooked. We also find that their contributions increase over time and are heavily gendered, with female sponsored parents and/or grandparents making more non-economic contributions than their male counterparts or other immigrants of similar age migrating under other categories of immigration.


Le Canada favorise de plus en plus les politiques d'immigration qui sont fondees sur la theorie du capital humain et sur ses retombees economiques. Par consequent, alors que cette immigration est a la hausse, il y a neanmoins une tendance a la baisse du nombre d'entrees obtenues a partir du <>. Le groupe le plus serieusement touche est celui des parents et / ou grands-parents parraines, qui sont aussi les plus vulnerables face aux critiques contre cette categorie. La discussion est centree sur le manque percu de contributions economiques potentielles qu'ils peuvent apporter. Une telle approche, cependant, neglige la nature feminisee de ce type d'immigration et leurs nombreuses prestations non monetaires. En utilisant un modele de regression multinominale de l'Enquete Iongitudinale aupres des immigrants au Canada, nous examinons ces apports et nous les comparons a ceux d'autres immigres d'un age similaire et provenant d'autres categories. Nous constatons que les parents et / ou grands-parents parraines font d'importantes contributions economiques a la societe canadienne, ainsi que des non-economiques qui sont souvent negligees. Nous constatons egalement qu'au til du temps leurs prestations augmentent et sont fortement sexuees, les temmes en faisant plus au niveau non monetaire que leurs homologues masculins et que les immigres d'un age similaire venus par l'entremise d'autres categories d'immigration.


Family migration has been the lifeblood of migration throughout the world (Daniel 2005; Kofman 2004). Recognizing the importance of the family to immigrant settlement and integration, most receiving countries have implemented relatively generous family reunification policies which allow for the sponsorship of relatives who did not accompany the original migrant at the time of immigration. Canada has been no exception (CIC 2000; Daniel 2005; Deshaw 2006). However, in recent years Canada has increasingly favoured a selection process informed by human capital theory privileging those with skills, paid work experience, and high potential for economic adaptability. Consequently, while immigration itself is on the increase, there is a downward trend in the number of family class entrants admitted to the country (Baker and Benjamin 2002; McLaren and Black 2005; Triadafilopoulos 2006) with over 10,000 fewer entrants in 2010 than admitted in 2006 (CIC 2010). Once one of the largest sources of immigration, family class migration for reunification now accounts for only slightly over 20% of annual immigrant intake in Canada (CIC 2010; Daniel 2005). …

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