A preliminary investigation of the contributions of sponsored parents and grandparents in Canada
Authors: Madine VanderPlaat, Howard Ramos, and Yoko Yoshida
In recent years Canada has increasingly favoured immigration policies informed by human capital theory and economic outcomes. Consequently, while immigration itself is on the increase there is a downward trend in the number of family class entrants admitted to the country. The group most seriously affected is sponsored parents and/or grandparents who are also the most vulnerable to criticisms that call into question family class immigration. The discussion is centered on the perceived lack of potential economic contributions of these immigrants; however, such a focus overlooks the gendered nature of this type of immigration and the many non-economic contributions these immigrants make. Unfortunately, little large scale empirical analysis has informed these discussions, not to mention conclusions. Our paper engages this by analyzing data on recent immigrants collected in the first and second waves of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants in Canada. Using logit regression modeling we examine economic and non-economic contributions of sponsored parent and/or grandparent immigrants and compare them to immigrants of similar age migrating under other categories of immigration. We find that sponsored parents and/or grandparents make significant economic contributions to Canadian society as well as other non-economic ones that are often overlooked. We also find that their contributions increase over time and are heavily gendered, with female sponsored parents and/or grandparents making more non-economic contributions than their male counterparts or other immigrants of similar age migrating under other categories of immigration.
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