The world is currently focused on American immigration laws, but entry to America remains more lenient than other industrialized nations.
Despite recent portrayals, America still ranks among the world’s top 10 immigrant-friendly environments. In fact, gaining permanent residency in America can be an easier task than gaining similar status in many other countries, including Canada.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly said his intention is to eliminate our diversity lottery system and chain migration, which allows permanent residents to invite family members along for the ride.
Trump also stated he would like to move towards a merit based immigration system when choosing who gets to come; a sentiment that has caused the president to be vilified by folks on the left. Unbeknownst to many, our liberal neighbors to the north already practice this type of immigration policy.
We are fighting hard for Merit Based immigration, no more Democrat Lottery Systems. We must get MUCH tougher (and smarter). @foxandfriends
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2017
I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2018
Canada is often portrayed as being open to anyone who desires to live there, but the country’s merit based system is not so welcoming to all.
There are several types of immigration programs, each judging applicants on a point system. One must be awarded a specific number of points to be accepted. The goal is emphasize the acceptance of those that will have a positive impact on the nation’s economy.
Points are awarded based on answers to questions in the categories of language skills, education, experience, age, pre-arranged employment, and adaptability. To make it past the first round of questions, an applicant must be fluent in English or French. Additional points are given for those who can speak both.
Canada discriminates based on age. For example, those under 17 are awarded no points for age. Those between 20 and 30 get awarded the most points. If you are 45 or older, you will not be awarded any points.
While Canada focuses on merit, America’s focus for choosing who gets in is mostly based on family. The U.S. does not have impose language or education prerequisites for those seeking permanent residency.
A look at the immigration stats of 2014 paints a picture of just how different the two countries are. That year, over 62 percent of legal immigrants to Canada were economic based, with only 24 percent entering based on family connections. By contrast, almost 65 percent of American green card recipients were based on family ties, with only 14 percent being employment based immigration.
Canada is tough on illegal immigration, too.
According to the office of the Auditor General, “Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, officers of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are authorized to arrest and detain permanent residents and foreign nationals at ports of entry and within Canada who have, or who may have, breached the Act… By detaining and removing those who would enter Canada illegally or who pose a threat to Canadians, the Canada Border Services Agency contributes to the safety and security of Canadians.”
Watch: How is Canada’s immigration system different from the US?