Canadians think that Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer would do a better job handling immigration in Canada than the current Liberal government led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

A poll done by the Angus Reid Institute found that 28 per cent of Canadians think that the Conservatives would “do the best job managing the immigration file,” compared to 22 per cent who picked the Liberals. 

Recently, Scheer announced that a Conservative government would focus the country’s immigration system on economic immigrants and refugees who come from vulnerable and persecuted groups. The Conservatives have also promised to put an end to illegal immigration across Canada’s border with the United States.

The poll also showed that a majority of Canadians underestimated the current number of immigrants entering into the country. Only 20 per cent of respondents were able to identify the correct figure of more than 300,000 immigrants coming to Canada this year. A majority (53%) believed that the number was lower. 

“While residents of many European countries often over-estimate the proportion of their populations made up by foreign-born nationals, a slight majority of Canadians (53%) actually under-estimate the number of immigrants new to the country,” said the summary of the poll. 

A significant number of Canadians (40 per cent) also believe that the current immigration level is too high, while another 39 per cent believe the target is “about right.”. 

When asked whether the Trudeau government has performed well with regard to illegal border crossings, a majority of Canadians (56%) believe that the Liberals have been “too soft in their approach” to the crisis. 

Since Justin Trudeau’s infamous “Welcome to Canada” tweet in 2017, approximately 45,000 illegal border crossers have entered Canada. The rapid influx has strained the nation’s immigration system, increasing the backlog for asylum and refugee claimants. 

Projections by the Immigration and Refugee Board show that the backlog could grow to 100,000 by the end of 2021, meaning that applicants could wait in Canada for up to five years before receiving a decision on their claims.

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