It costs Canada about $29,000 to shelter and care for a single asylum seeker. More than 12,000 Czech and Mexican refugee claimants have arrived in Canada since late 2007 and the vast majority of the files have been ruled to be illegitimate, making the financial toll untenable, Kenney said.
According to this table Canada resettled 21,860 refugees in 2008. If it does cost $29,000 to shelter and care for a single asylum seeker then the refugee system cost Canadian taxpayers approximately $634 million in 2008. But that's just the successful ones. If we include failed asylum claims then the number increases. I can't say by how much since I cannot find the total number of asylum claims in Canada for 2008 to make a calculation but I am sure the figure goes beyond the $800 million mark.
I post this because we don't know how much Canada's immigration system costs taxpayers because no official report on the costs exists. So we are left to make educated guesses. If it costs Canadians at least $634 million to resettle 21,860 people into the country how much more does it cost to service the immigration system as a whole?
Some may counter by saying immigrants pay more in taxes then we spend on immigration. But how do we know that if we don't know how much is spent on immigration? Remember, only 23% of immigrants to Canada are principal applicants which are immigrants selected based on their job and language skills. The rest are not. Also, immigrants remove up to $2 billion a year from the Canadian economy each year, money that could have been spent on goods and services, in the form of remittances sent back their home countries.
In the U.K., a nation experiencing similar waves of record immigration, a British House of Lords report concludes record levels of immigration has brought little or no economic benefit to Britain. And a Daily Mail article suggests immigration to Britain is more costly than it is worth. Is Canada different?
I strongly suspect the immigration system costs Canadian taxpayers more than it is worth and it seems Canadians are displeased with what they are paying for. Immigration isn't the problem. It is the current immigration system that is a mess that needs to be cleaned up. A good place to start is by lowering immigration targets.