A recent OECD study of leading economies found that immigration of the past 50 years has been of little or no benefit to them, being of neutral benefit at best. Immigrants since 1964 - roughly the time Canada's immigration system began to change into the "compassionate and fair" points-based system we have today - have proven to be no "panacea of economic growth."
However, the same study found that immigrants have a neutral effect on the tax base as well with their contributions to it and use of tax supported benefits leveling out. A Fraser Institute study begs to differ with the OECD on this point in the particular case of Canada. In any case I'll concede to the OECD's conclusion that immigrants haven't been a drain on taxes here in Canada. But they're not net contributors either.
If immigrants are not contributing to economic growth in any significant way while at the same time not contributing to the tax base in any significant way then what's the point of allowing immigrants into the country in the first place? In this situation it's immigration for immigration's sake.
Critics point out that most of the benefits, if not all the benefits, of the immigration system are enjoyed by the immigrants themselves since the vast majority of them come from societies of low consumption and poverty and move to a society of high consumption and affluence. Even if they live in poverty here in Canada most of them are still better of here than where they came from. Canada's immigration system, then, is just an extension of the foreign aid program and immigrants are, for the most part, just charity cases. It's The Blindside as immigration policy. We may be powerless to change the impoverished societies from whence immigrants come from but we can at least help a few of them by helping them escape those societies by bringing them here.
As for Canadians we get almost nothing beneficial out of this arrangement aside from the opportunity to pat ourselves on the back as a sign that we are the most civilized and compassionate people on the planet. And the reward is to experience the negative effects of it especially in our cities.
That being the case immigrants aren't the ones making a sacrifice when they move here since for them the payoff in the end can exceed the effort. They're making an investment and like all investors they're taking a risk in the blue chip stock that is Canada. It's Canadians who must sacrifice to accommodate them and suffer the costs or reap the gains of what they contribute to society and the economy. And it appears what they contribute is nearly nothing of significance so why should we support a mass immigration system when clearly it's not in our interest to do so?