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How Syrian Immigrants Integrate into Canada

Essay by   •  April 8, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  2,585 Words (11 Pages)  •  389 Views

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How Syrian immigrants integrate into Canada


The experience of immigrating and integrating into Canada is usually different for various Syrian immigrants. Most of the Syrian immigrants who have settled in Canada in the last couple of years have always faced different challenges especially during their first year of settling. Nonetheless, a few others have been able to adjust fast to their new environment and surrounding in Canada. In this respect, such immigrants have shown positive progress with regard to integration to the Canadian communities where they are actively involved in various community programs. However, it is worth noting that majority of Syrian immigrants that continue to arrive into Canada still require time and support for them to integrate fully into the Canadian community and adapt to different life in their new destination. Several players are involved in assisting Syrian immigrants seeking to integrate into Canada. Some of these players include the organizations that are in charge of service provision and supportive social networks among others. Such supportive groups assist immigrants in getting essential information as well as the steps and procedures that are necessary for their integration. Additionally, the immigrants are provided with opportunities to acquire crucial cultural information and knowledge, relevant language skills, jobs, and housing as well as emotional support (Raphael, 2016).

Literature Review

Klein, Dimant, and Bene (2011) observe that Canada started entertaining refugees and immigrants from Syria following the declaration of a promise to have more than 20,000 Syrian refugees resettled by the federal Liberal government that had been newly elected in Canada. An undertaking followed this promise from the civil servants and citizens to try to do everything within their abilities to assist the immigrants to integrate into their communities and cultures. However, the government fell short of meeting its timeline in settling the Syrian refugees but eventually it managed to meet its target of settling at least 20,000 refugees thereby giving the opportunity to integrate into Canada.  Previously, integration of Syrian immigrants into Canada has been taking a rather extended duration, which is largely attributable to most of the problems, and challenges that the immigrants carry along with them. In addition, some community organizations have been overwhelmed by the needs and expectations of most of these Syrian immigrants. For example, some of the legitimate concerns of these immigrants have clearly overburdened such organizations to the extent that they have found themselves ignoring critical concerns such as security measures. To this extent, Grubel and Vancouver (2009) explain that Syrian immigrants are still faced with serious integration challenges that have made it largely difficult for them to adapt and come with new life experiences in Canada.

According to the findings made by Nail (2015), the understanding of local cultures as well as learning the art of communicating in the local language is part of some crucial steps towards integration of Syrians immigrants into Canada. In this regard, the immigrants seeking to settle in Canada would be expected to learn to communicate effectively in English language. In some cases, they would be required to learn the art of communication in French language. However, thousands of immigrants from Syria to Canada in the last couple of years have found it extremely challenging to integrate and settle down due to their inability to understand the local language or learn to communicate using the local language. It is important to note that the Canadian government has attempted to address this challenge by coming up with government-sponsored languages programs and courses mainly targeting refugees and immigrants.  The statistics provided by Mazigh (2012) indicate that close to 5,300 immigrants from Syria have been able to enroll in government-sponsored language programs and courses out of a possible 28,000 population that has immigrated into Canada for the last couple of years. As such, the number of immigrants who have managed to enroll for programs meant to improve the communication skills in local languages is a representation of less than 25% of the total number that was initially targeted by the federal government.

Research Question

To what extent has there been effectiveness and success in the process of integrating Syrian immigrants into Canada?

Justification of the Topicality of this Question

The topicality of this question is relevant and crucial in the sense that it attempts to interrogate and critically examine the role of Canada in handling Syrian immigrants. It is worth noting that the war and conflict in Syria has led to the emergence of one of the largest immigration and refugee crisis experienced around the globe in recent times. Syrians have not just been forced to flee for safety and reprieve in neighboring cities and villages but some have had to leave their country with the hope of settling in a safe refuge. In this regard, the research question is provides opportunity for the exploration of conceptual and practical perspectives about the relevant issues affecting the integration of immigrants and refugees from Syria into the Canadian society (Patterson, 2016).


The first surge of immigrants’ arrivals into Canada from Syria was fuelled fundamentally through private means that were already under consideration by the previous conservative administration. The perspective presented by Endicott (2017) clearly indicates that in some instances, integration of immigrants into Canada has been facilitated by the existence of family ties and family networks between the Syrians and the Canadians. Such ties have proved to be advantageous to most immigrants in the quest to quickly adapt and settle down in their new environment of operation or social surrounding. Such a provided groups of immigrants have the tendency of obtaining better medical services, quality education, and higher economic status, which are critical for their swift integration into the Canadian society. On the other hand, the refugees and immigrants who are fully relying on the government are typically identified and selected based on their different humanitarian needs. Such needs often education and social challenges for the immigrants in the course of integrating into the local communities since they have a tendency of taking a long duration to be established and acquired.

According to the observations made by Bonifacio and Drolet (2017), Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal are some of the largest cities in Canada that have always attracted the highest numbers of Syrian immigrants. As such, it is largely expected that these three cities will continue to experience an influx of refugees and immigrants from Syria. Moreover, the three cities have the largest population of Syrian-Canadian residents as well as some effective sponsorships and programs that play a critical role in providing the infrastructure of integration of newly arriving immigrants. Integration of the Syrian immigrants into the Canadian culture and communities has not been a smooth and easy affair due to numerous hiccups experienced in the course of the integration process. For instance, there have been complications associated with the attempts to accommodate and resettle families from Syria that are typically larger than the Canadian ones.  More than 1,200 families from Syria comprise of eight or more individuals thus making it difficult for them to find rental houses or residences in big cities that are often crowded.  Various social perspectives of Syrians immigrants have been cited as some of the reasons that contributed significantly to the low number of enrolment in learning local languages.



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