Greener pastures north: Canada welcomes immigrants, to our economic detriment

Since the War of 1812 ended, we’ve had a friendly rivalry with our northern neighbors. We gave them McDonald’s, Walmart, baseball, football and basketball; they gave us the Ryans (Gosling and Reynolds), Paw Patrol and ice hockey. All in good fun — yet sometimes our frozen friends really hit us where it hurts, and in the past few years that’s meant attracting and absorbing loads of immigrant talent that couldn’t find a place here.

Of course, we have no one to blame but ourselves, as decades of stalling and broken promises have kept the United States with a clunky, badly outdated, counterproductive and nigh-unnavigable legal immigration system. Despite the repeated pleadings of everyone from national security wonks to big-business lobbies to chambers of commerce, simply trying to immigrate with a sponsored high-skill work visa is an expensive, unpredictable and drawn-out mess.


Our loss will continue to be Canada’s gain, especially as Ottawa has now announced ambitious new targets to increase legal permanent immigration to about 500,000 by 2025; that’s half of the United States’ roughly 1 million new permanent residents per year, for a country with about a ninth of our population. Canadians understand two things that our leaders ignore or have forgotten: There is a massive labor need, and our population isn’t getting any younger.

Put another way, the economy that has made the U.S. the world’s wealthiest country exists, solely and exclusively, because of massive and relatively open immigration.

Those who complain bitterly about the supposed chaos of refugees and asylum-seekers also fail to understand that these groups can revitalize communities and that, if the perception of disorder is the problem, the solution is not to close off but have a much more accessible and orderly process to welcome new Americans.

— New York Daily News

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