Project Researchers

Project Description

This project has two interrelated objectives: first, to document and analyze the stratifying effects of immigration admission policies on the socioeconomic integration of refugees, differentiated by their entry program; second, to demonstrate the additional impacts of gender and age at arrival (or generation status) for refugee integration. The starting premise is that entry status not only sorts migrants but molds subsequent experiences (Anderson 2010). Although it is common to refer to the “humanitarian” class in Canada, in fact persons may enter through several different programs offering different settlement contexts. Persons may enter and then apply though the In-Canada Asylum Program (ICAP). Or they may seek admission from outside Canada under the Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program (RHRP), which includes three programs, : the Private Sponsorship Refugees (PSR), the Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) and the Blended or shared sponsorship programs which are more recent and smaller than the PSR and GARs (Dhital 2015; Wilkinson and Garcea 2017). Research finds that refugees in the PSR have the best integration profiles (Beiser 2003; Dhital 2015; Drolet & Moorthi 2018; IRCC 2016; Kaida, Hou & Stick 2019; Wilkinson and Garcea 2017).

Recently, Statistics Canada and the Department of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada merged information on entry visas to 2016 census of population records. This merging preserves the distinctions between refugee classes but adds many more indicators of the labour market integration of Canada’s refugee population entering after 1980. Additionally, census demographic data allows us to distinguish between men and women and between those who entered Canada as children (1.5 generation), older adolescents (1.75 generation) and adults. ? Compared to men, refugee women are less likely to be in the labour force and to have lower wages (Houle 2019; Kaida, Hou & Stick 2019). However, arriving as a child enhances socioeconomic integration and may produce better outcomes for refugee children.

In sum, three core questions exist. First, what are the associations between entry programs of refugees and levels of socioeconomic integration, using a variety of labour market indicators? More specifically, are indicators of integration higher for refugees admitted under the Private Sponsorship compared to other groups, particularly GARs and the within-Canada admissions. Second, to what extent do between-program differences reflect differences in the characteristics of the populations in each program? Third, what are the impacts of gender and arrival age and do these impacts vary by refugee program?

Two sets of methodologies and target audiences exist. The first will produce informative cross-tabulations, charts and short summaries for a non-academic audience that wants basic findings presented in uncomplicated ways. The second consists of multivariate analyses (ordinary least squares’ logistic regression, multinomial regression) of a smaller subset of indicators (labour force participation, occupational location and earnings); these analyses are for academic publication. In both approaches, the research population consists of persons age 25-54 in 2016 admitted in one of the three major refugee admissions categories between 1986 and 2014 (in-Canada, PSP, GAR). Further refinements will be made as needed (by period of arrival, age range of those arriving as children etc).