A Preliminary Investigation into Private Refugee Sponsors
Refereed Article, 2018
Macklin, A., Barber, K., Goldring, L., Hyndman, J., Korteweg, A., Labman, S., & Zyfi, J. (2018). A preliminary investigation into private refugee sponsors. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 50(2), 35–58.
Faith-based and other civil society organizations, along with more ad-hoc groups of Canadians, have sustained a continuous program of private refugee sponsorship in Canada for 40 years. The Syrian refugee exodus inspired thousands of Canadians with little or no prior experience to also take up refugee sponsorship. Little is known about private sponsors, their characteristics and experiences, and the impact of sponsorship on them. This article undertakes two tasks. First, it sketches the contours of a large, interdisciplinary project investigating the phenomenon of private refugee sponsorship from the perspective of Canadian sponsors of Syrians, including both long-term and new sponsors. The project asks how the project of welcoming refugees remakes the citizenship of Canadians. Second, the article presents original data selected from a survey of over 500 sponsors of recently arrived Syrians. We conclude with future directions for research and analysis. Keywords: Refugees, private sponsorship, Syrian refugees, citizenship, Canadian national identity, cosmopolitanism.