We all want refugees to settle well in Canada--to learn one of our official languages, find jobs, become integrated into communities. But Canada currently asks refugees to pay back the money that the government spent on their travel to Canada.
The evidence shows that these immigration travel loans have a negative impact on refugees’ ability to settle well. The pressure to pay them back can make it difficult to pay for necessities, push refugees to find jobs before they’ve completed their language training, and add unneeded stress to already stressful transitions.
The government knows this--which is why they just stopped charging interest on the loans. But it would cost just 40 cents per Canadian to stop asking refugees to repay these loans entirely.
We all want refugees to settle well in Canada--and for just 40 cents per Canadian, we can do it.
Ask the Minister of Immigration and your MP to exempt refugees from travel loan repayment!
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Image credit: Flickr user Erin Wilson