[From left to right: Renata Szczypek, Paloma E. Villegas, Daniela Garcia Gonzalez]
In this iteration of Sociology D 21 Immigrant Scarborough, we partnered with the Toronto East Quadrant Local Immigration Partnership (TEQLIP) for the second year in a row (see Fall 2014 page). In the past 10 years, immigration policy has changed dramatically in Canada. Given such changes, this year, students (Daniela Garcia Gonzalez & Renata Szczypek) were asked to investigate the effects of Express Entry, a reconfiguration of the economic immigration stream for permanent residence in Canada. Daniela and Renata interviewed 9 settlement services/ social service workers in Scarborough from 6 organizations. They also conducted secondary research, using academic literature, City of Toronto and Citizenship and Immigration Canada statistics, grey literatures and media sources.
Daniela and Renata wrote a Research Brief outlining their findings in a concise, plain-language format. Students wrote,
After analyzing the interviews, we found several themes. Express Entry is part of a neoliberalizing trend in Canada. Neoliberalism refers to the push for a free-market economy, flexibility, and emphasizing personal responsibilities to access social goods. Express Entry places responsibility on individuals to place their name forward and receive a job offer. They are also designed to “adapt” to shifting labour market demands. The settlement services sector has been burdened with meeting continuing demands with limited funding. Funding cuts have always been present in the settlement sector, even before Express Entry. According to the participants interviewed, Express Entry was met with confusion from both settlement workers and clientele. Going forward, organizations will adapt to Express
Entry by offering new programs, shifting thefocus of current ones, or cutting back others. Express Entry might put off potential immigrants and employers. It will also have positive and negative consequences for Canada. Recent data from CIC demonstrates that the number of immigrants arriving through Express Entry with a job offer will not be as high as originally planned. This means that settlement services will not see such a drastic change.
Presentation of Findings
Daniela and Renata also presented their findings to the TEQ LIP on November 26, 2015.