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Why Are Immigrants Still Being Discriminated Against?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Immigrants are continuously discriminated against and are treated unjustly to the majority of the population. Why is this still a problem? The simplest answer to that question is: we have not yet fully addressed historical issues. Have you ever heard of POW or “prisoners of war”? This refers to people who came from states that were at war with the British during the First World War, who immigrated to Canada for a better life. 

They sought better job opportunities and to remove themselves from British rule. These states were of Austro-Hungarian origin—countries such as Ukraine, Poland, and Croatia. But they were known as “enemy aliens.” They started off with many opportunities that made life great, but when the market crashed and social classes started to rise, immigrants were seen as a burden to society and were suspected of dishonest acts. There was nothing to prove these allegations, yet they were being  blamed since they had recently arrived in Canada, then major problems began to sprout.

So, what did the government do to try to contain their concerns with the spread of the “enemy alien”? They either never allowed them to leave the country, and were charged for crimes that they never committed, or, they had a sentence much higher for the act at hand.

They were foreigners to the land and were constantly watched. Not many people know about this event; I sure didn’t until I recently learned about it in one of my classes.

This just goes to show that there are so many other occurrences in this world that we don’t even know about, probably hundreds that haven’t been discovered or released yet. The world we live in is extremely unfair and as much as we try to be an inclusive society, we can never advance without acknowledging the past.

Today, how many times do you hear about people complaining about immigrants abusing the Canadian system or taking away all the job opportunities? Very often. I come from a family that immigrated from Poland in the 1980s and I can assure you that without the opportunity the Canadian government allotted them with, we would’ve had a much harder time getting settled.

Poland was communist and was a terrible country to live in during the time my family was there. They didn’t want to continue living in those conditions, and luckily, Canada was their savior. People immigrate here to escape from their brutal and horrible living conditions. The government provides them with a start; not with riches or rewards. They give them a real chance at creating a life for themselves and making an impact on society.

Olivia Stanco

UWindsor '23

Hello my name is Olivia! I hope you love reading my articles just as much as I love writing them.
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