Letters: Close Richmond's birth tourism loophole

Dear Editor,

We have all experienced the utter frustration of waiting in line for our favourite amusement park ride when a group cuts in front of us, thereby making our wait even longer.

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 That is precisely the injustice that honest, law-abiding foreigners who want to immigrate to Canada experience every day, thanks to birthright citizenship laws.

Typically, the way this exploitation of a citizenship loophole (often referred to as birth tourism) transpires is that a foreigner on a tourist visa goes into labour while in Canada and, per Canadian law, the baby becomes a citizen. Not only does the child receive automatic citizenship, we, the Canadian taxpayer, foot the bill for expenses, which are advertised overseas to include 12 years of free public education, a 90-per-cent reduction in university fees, health care, and the possibility of reunification (immigration) for the parents of the child when they come of age.

Of course, the rebuttal is that policies restricting birthright citizenship are racist or xenophobic. This argument, however, is illogical since the people being impacted most profoundly by the exploitation of the loophole are, guess who, foreigners.

It is a legitimate immigrant who takes the time and allocates the resources to come here legally and ethically who is being denied their rightful place in line.

Our politicians need to close this loophole. Please, write to your federal MP and the Minister of Immigration and urge them to end automatic citizenship for babies born to those individuals on a tourist visa. The time to close this loophole is now!

Jack Travato

RICHMOND

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