In less than a decade, there will be one retiree for every two workers Canada. To address a looming labor shortage, the Canadian government announced a new goal in November to accept 1.45 million immigrants by 2025, with 60 percent trained in healthcare and other urgently needed job skills.
Meanwhile, in the United States, similar immigration legislation has stalled as Republicans block Democrats’ efforts to stimulate an influx of skilled workers until more is done to secure the US-Mexico border.
While the United States had nearly 10 times the population of Canada, the United States brought in the same number — about 275,000 — of legal immigrants on an employment basis in fiscal year 2022 as Canada now plans to bring in each year for the next three years, according to data from Canada. From the US Citizenship and Immigration Services and policymakers of New Canada.
In the last session of the US Congress, which ended in December, bills to increase the number of foreign-born entrepreneurs, highly skilled workers, microchip manufacturers and farm workers failed to gain enough votes to become law. Thirty Republicans and Democrats opposed the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, the only bill to come out of the House. It has not been put to a vote in the Senate yet.
At the same time, Canada’s two largest national political parties, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ruling Liberals and the opposition Conservative Party, both describe themselves as pro-immigration. Trudeau’s new immigration goal, which focuses not only on opening more pathways for refugees and low-skilled workers, but also on attracting highly educated workers in sectors like health care and technology, enjoys widespread support.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., then chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, introduced two bills to increase work-based visas, but neither of them passed the House.
While lobbying for change, Lofgren made a direct comparison of policies in the United States and the United States its neighbor to the north. During a hearing titled “Oh Canada! How Old U.S. Immigration Policies Drive Top Talent to Other Countries,” Lofgren said, “The last major reform of our legal immigration system occurred in 1990. At the same time, other countries, such as Canada, also made strides Great at building resilience and employment incentives into systems to attract highly skilled immigrants, including those we can’t absorb.”
Her Republican counterpart on the committee, then-Rep. Thomas McClintock of California, echoed what many Republican opponents have said in response to such proposals: For the Biden administration to do more to tackle illegal immigration at the Southern border, legislation must be amended. Even legal immigration pathways should not be considered.
“The constant theme we hear from the left is that despite these staggering (borderline) numbers and despite the impact on American families as the labor market is flooded with low-paid, illegal immigrant workers, we need to encourage more,” McClintock said.
to the northCanada’s Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, said the need for more employment is so clear that the issue isn’t nearly as divisive, and arguments about indigenous people, like Canadian jobs being for Canadians, don’t have much traction.
“This comes from a place where we believe Canada needs more people. We need them for economic reasons. We need them for demographic reasons. And it will help make our communities more vibrant, vibrant places to live,” Fraser said.
However, many positions are still vacant. Network hospitals with 400 to 500 nurses are short of what they need, said Brenda Perkins-Mingast, director of nursing strategy at Health Network University in Toronto.
“We’re currently facing a health care crisis and a huge nursing shortage, so we really needed to be creative and innovative,” said Perkins-Minghast. The University Health Network launched a program this year to bring more internationally educated nurses and help them get the additional training they need in Canada.
Sectors at both the upper and lower end of the US labor market are likely to suffer in the coming years without an increase in the number of foreigners, says Rebecca Shea, president of the pro-immigration advocacy group American Immigration Business Coalition. Employers can hire workers. Without more farm workers, she said, food prices will continue to rise and affect American families.
“At some point there will be consequences if they continue to play politics,” Xi said. “The reality is that we could soon become importers of milk and that would drive up prices and could cause food insecurity.”
In a statement, USCIS said it is “committed to administering the legal immigration system fairly and effectively, increasing access to qualified immigration benefits, restoring trust with immigrant communities, and breaking down barriers in the immigration system. The agency will continue to fulfill America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness and integrity.” And respect for all we serve.”