ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY OF IMMIGRATION
Responsibility for immigration in the federal government has
resided in several different departments since Confederation.
Issue: Understanding the management of diversity in
society through the legislative history and public policy framework.
The (Re)Organization and Responsibility Timeline:
- 1868 to 1892, Canadian immigration
services were the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture.
- 1892 to 1917, these services were transferred
to the Department of Interior,
and became known as the Immigration Branch of that Department.
- 1917 to 1936, an independent Department of Immigration and
Colonization was established, which took over the work previously
undertaken by the Department of the Interior.
- 1936 to 1950, Immigration was
reduced to Branch status again, however, under the newly-formed Department of Mines and Resources.
- 1950 to 1966, with the creation of
the Department of Citizenship
and Immigration the commission was given the responsibility for
such disparate programs as Immigration, Indian Affairs, Citizenship
Registration, and a number of federal cultural agencies. At that time,
Immigration services remained at the Branch level.
- 1966 to 1977, the growing
relationship between employment and immigration policy was formally
recognized with the creation of the Department
of Manpower and Immigration. At that time the Immigration
Branch was moved from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration to the
newly-formed Department, and retained Branch status.
- 1977 to 1992, with the creation of
the Canada Employment and
Immigration Commission and Department. Federal government
immigration, employment, and unemployment insurance programs were united
under these institutions, known collectively as Employment and Immigration
Canada (EIC). At that time, EIC was responsible for immigration matters
including the admission to Canada
of visitors, permanent residents and refugees. It also assisted permanent
residents and refugees to settle in Canada.
- 1992 to Present, The most recent
change with respect to immigration functions occurred in 1992-93 with the
creation of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, ratified under
the Department of Citizenship
and Immigration Act of 1994 (42-43 Elizabeth II, C. 31). This new
Department is currently responsible for the federal government's
2002 – The Immigration
and Refugee Protection Act comes into effect. It emphasizes the importance of immigration to improving Canadian society
and economy and creating a culturally diverse nation. The Act also states
the government’s commitment to reuniting families in Canada,
integrating immigrants, and protecting the health and safety of all Canadians.
The refugee program plans to fulfill Canada’s
international legal obligations and give fair consideration to all people being
persecuted. The Act guarantees the policies will be consistent with the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. It also states that intergovernmental co-operation will be important,
as will be greater public awareness of policies.
December 2003 – The
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
is created. It is part of a broader
package of programs designed to deal with the security concerns raised by the
11 September attack on the World Trade Center. The CBSA’s mandate is to facilitate the legal movement of goods and
people across Canada’s
borders while stopping illegal or threatening shipments.
December 2003 – Introduction of the Permanent Resident Card. The card is required for permanent
residents leaving and re-entering Canada.
It is designed to increase border