Success of Immigrant Children Overlooked by Government Policies: C.D. Howe Institute

TORONTO, May 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Current immigration policies overlook the unique challenges faced by immigrant children, resulting in higher dropout rates for those arriving in Canada as teenagers, according to a new C.D. Howe Institute report. In "Don't Forget the Kids: How Immigrant Policy Can Help Immigrant's Children," authors Colin Busby and Miles Corak assert that various government policies do not take children's prospects into account, including the Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) Program, which, when used as a route to permanent immigration, needlessly separates children from their parents.

The report finds that the risks of not completing high school are distinctly higher for immigrant children who arrive in the country after about the age of 10, rising sharply for those who come to Canada as teenagers.

"A failure to complete high school limits access to higher education and reduces future job and earnings prospects," Corak notes. "With this in mind, government should strive to strike a better balance in the trade-offs between immigration policies that aim to fill workforce needs with the long-term success of children in the Canadian economy."

Dropout rates are most notable for children coming from countries in which English or French are not spoken. As for children coming from predominantly English-speaking countries, there is little observable pattern for high-school non-completion rates with the exception of the United States, whose children endure similar risks to those coming from non-English-speaking countries.

Busby concludes, "adopting a family lens in assessing immigration policy, rather than an individual or a short-term labour market lens, may help clarify these challenges, and highlight unintended long-term consequences and missed opportunities. Most important, children should arrive at the youngest possible age, so the immigration process should avoid unnecessary delays on families seeking to move to Canada."

The C. D. Howe Institute is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies. It is Canada's trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review. It is considered by many to be Canada's most influential think tank.

For the report go to: http://www.cdhowe.org/dont-forget-the-kids-how-immigrant-policy-can-help-immigrants-children/25931

SOURCE: C.D. Howe Institute

For further information:

Miles Corak, Professor, Department of Economics, University of Ottawa; or Colin Busby, Senior Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe Institute. Phone: 416-865-1904; E-Mail: kmurphy@cdhowe.org.


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