Recent figures released by the government of Canada show that the country has experienced a 26% surge in immigration, between 2015 and 2019. In contrast, legal immigration in the US over the same period fell by 7% between 2016 and 2018, and are expected to fall even more sharply when the numbers settling in the US during the Trump administration are added to the total.
Increasing immigration has been a benchmark policy of the adminisration of Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, According to Ahmed Hussen, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Canada plans to increase the number of migrants to 350,000 a year by 2021, a 29% increase on the number in 2015 of 271,835.
“To further ease the challenges of a shrinking labor force and an aging population, our new multi-year immigration levels plan sets out the highest levels of permanent residents that Canada will welcome in recent history,” said Hussen.
The largest number of migrants entering the country have come from India, settling in cities like Toronto, with the help of an immigration lawyer in Toronto. This group of highly skilled, tech workers, who would ordinarily have gone to the US, are now adding the growing talent pool in Canada which is welcoming them with open arms.
This is largely because, in the US, there is an increasing difficulty in obtaining H-1B visas, designated for skilled workers.
India currently sends twice as many migrants to Canada as China, which is the second biggest source of newcomers in the country, with 30,260 immigrants. In third place is the Philippines, sending 27,815 migrants, Nigeria in fourth place, sending 12,595, and in fifth place, is the US itself, which saw 10,800 settle further north in 2019.
Canada has become a far more welcoming country to new arrivals compared to its much bigger, richer neighbor. Taken as a proportion of its population, Canada admits three times the number of immigrants as the US, with the Trump administration pushing for legistlation that would reduce its intake by a further 50%.
These efforts by the US government are contrary to recent findings of its Census report, which concludes that, “Higher international immigration over the next four decades would produce a faster growing, more diverse, and younger population for the United States.”
However, with a hostile government in charge south of the border, the US is moving in the complete opposite direction of Canada in its immigration policy, which will continue to put negative pressure on its economic performance.
Lower immigration will not only mean an aging population, put greater demand on healthcare services, but also precipitate a declining and more expensive labor force, making US industrial output less competitive compared to countries with a more robust population growth.