Jewish immigration to Canada #general

Judith Romney Wegner

Vivian Salama wrote:
Many waves of immigrants were able to enter Canada at almost all periods of
history far more easily than the US. . . .
Shel Bercovich answered:

Except before, during and after W.W. II when Jewish immigration to Canada
was guided by a "None is too many" underlying policy! (See: Abella, Irving.
"None is Too Many")
Well, we need to define the matter rather more precisely. Several members
of my family emigrated to Canada >from England after the war without any
trouble. Canada did not exclude Jews as such -- acceptance or rejection
depended primarily on the applicant's country of origin. Whatever barriers
Canada raised against would-be immigrants >from assorted European countries
would have been applied across the board to Jews and Gentiles alike.

In fact Canada was merely making similar distinctions among different
groups of would-be immigrants as did the United States >from the passage
of the McCarron-Walter Act of 1924 until about 20-25 years after WW 2.
Quotas during that period were based mainly on the applicant's national
origin (i.e. country of birth). Britons and others whose native language
was English (such as Australians or white South Africans) had little
trouble. My husband came to the USA on the British quota without any
waiting in 1964 -- whereas, had he not been married to a Briton, he
might have had to wait several years to get in on the Austrian quota. And
many European countries ranked lower than Austria for this purpose --
especially the East European countries where most Jewish Holocaust
survivors were born. Hence their difficulty in getting in.

The suggestion that Canada behaved any worse than the United States in its
immigration policies during the specified period seems unwarranted. In
particular, the implication that Jews were barred simply as Jews (rather
than as natives of low-quota countries) is simply not true.

Judith Romney Wegner

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