Madam Speaker, maybe I could take a more holistic approach in responding to my friend's question.
If we look at Canada, every year we have target numbers that are well established with respect to the number of immigrants we would anticipate in the upcoming year. We also have separate categories. For example, there are categories that say we hope to achieve x number of provincial nominees coming from different provinces, x number of additional economic immigrants coming into our country and x number of marriages and family reunifications. I was just talking about parents and grandparents. We also recognize there will be a certain number of sponsored refugees.
These are all part of our immigration system. When we tally it all up, we are talking well over 300,000 net people coming to Canada this year. Canada is well respected around the world. There is a great demand to come to Canada. We are a country that has been built by immigration.
The member talked about racism. Racism is real and it hurts. We need to do things to try to minimize racism through cross-cultural awareness, whether it comes from individuals it should not come from or individuals who purposely intend to hurt people.
When we talk about those who are crossing the border seeking asylum, what we do not necessarily hear from the Conservative Party is this. I was the immigration critic in opposition when Stephen Harper was the prime minister. Even back then we had Americans or individuals from the United States crossing the border into Canada. The only thing that has really changed is the numbers. I suspect if we look at it more recently, some of those numbers have gone down.
Yes, there was a bump. We work with other countries, the Five Eyes countries, countries like Australia and the United States. A system is in place. Canada is held in fairly high esteem with respect to how we process asylum seekers. We have a fair process. That process has been followed the same way it was followed when Stephen Harper was the prime minister, even though at that time the number of people crossing the border was not quite as high.
Therefore, if we try to give a false impression by saying that we have never had people coming from the United States claiming asylum before, that is not true. That has been happening for many years. Yes, the numbers have changed and so forth, but the issue has been there for years. However, the Conservatives, in opposition, try to ramp up the issue, but what is the motivation for doing so?
We have a fair system. We have even seen some changes in the last budget. The budget is very much on top of the file. We have an incredible Minister of Immigration who is doing the diligence necessary to ensure the integrity of the system.