Why has Canada accepted immigrants with open arms? Because it must. Canadians realize the positive benefits of immigration including economic development and the creation of jobs for native born Canadians. This is because a large proportion of Canadian immigrants are highly skilled people who are net contributors to the economy. Also, with a sparse population and low birth rate, Canada needs immigrants for population growth and economic development. About two-thirds of Canada's permanent visas are granted for Canada's economic needs, including the filling of labor shortages; in contrast, about two-thirds of U.S. green cards are granted for family reunions. Canadians consider multiculturalism as a key ingredient of their national identity. They contend that people who are exposed to different viewpoints and cultures are more likely to cooperate with one another or reach a compromise when differences occur and become more productive by learning from others. Canadians generally see immigration as adding to the social fabric of the country. Finally, Canada has little reason to fear illegal immigration. Although Canada and the United States share a long border, millions of Americans do not wish to move to Canada. In other words, the United States serves as a buffer zone for unauthorized immigration that reduces Canadian anxiety about it. Canada emphasizes open immigration policies that accept talented foreigners who have the skills the country needs and the desire to succeed. Canada has transformed itself into an immigrant country, with a foreign-born population (20 percent) exceeding that of the United States (13 percent). Most Canadians feel that this infusion of talent has added to the economic vitality of Canada. In 2013 Canada began to overhaul its immigration program and place greater emphasis on factors such as an applicant's job skills and fluency in French or English. The objective is to fix what the Canadian government
Chapter 9 sees as an increasing economic division between locals and many of the immigrants that Canada selected under the former system, whereby immigrants have fallen behind locals in terms of wages. The new system considers whether immigrants have employment arranged in Canada and if they have specific skills in demand such as data processing. Canada also considers adaptability, which includes factors such as time spent previously in Canada. It remains to be seen how the revised system will play out. International Trade Application Does U.S. Immigration Policy Harm Domestic Workers? Does U.S. immigration policy harm domestic workers? Some analysts maintain that the overall benefits from immigration are small, so it is doubtful these benefits play an important role in the policy debate. Others maintain that immigration has significant effects on the economy. They note that highly skilled immigrants help create jobs for domestic workers while less skilled workers fill jobs most Americans do not desire, such as cooking in restaurants, picking apples and cherries, and cleaning offices, adding to the economic vitality of the nation.
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