U.S. Lawmakers Look to Canada for Immigration Ideas

With the importance placed on immigration reform in the United States, experts believe lawmakers could look to Canada for inspiration on effective, fair immigration laws, according to Shikha Dalmia’s recent Bloomberg News article.

Members of the Democratic and Republican parties disagree on many aspects of immigration, including what immigrant workers really mean to the United States.  Lawmakers routinely debate the role that immigrants should play in the U.S. economy. While some Republican policymakers feel that tighter immigration measures will lead to tax and employment fairness, others suggest an alternative route. Canadian lawmakers, for example, view immigrant workers as a vital part of the Canadian economy.

“By tackling the backlog to make way for a faster, more flexible just-in-time immigration system, newcomers to Canada will be able to fully participate in the economy more quickly,” Jason Kenney, Canada’s minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, said. “Immigration plays a vital role in our country’s long-term prosperity. By improving our economic immigration system, we can ensure that Canada is competitive on the world stage.”

Members of the U.S. government have proposed many new systems over the years, but many of these still will not put employers in a prime position to acquire talented employees from overseas. Among the strongest changes the U.S. can adapt from Canada’s system would be raising the cap on green cards and H1-B visas.

The current U.S. rule mandates that no more than 7 percent of employment-based green cards can go to residents of a single country in a given year. However, the Canadian system is broken into provincial-nominee programs that allow each of the 13 provinces to allot its own worker-based permanent residences and implement its own immigration policies based on population. The Canadian system foregoes the United States’ temporary work-visa step to offer permanent residencies to eligible workers and their families.

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