Together, Canada, Mexico, and the United States are home to nearly one-quarter of the world's migrants. Despite shifts in the profile of those who migrate and changing demographic realities across the region, such as population aging, perceptions and policies remain set in earlier eras. This article explores the intersection of migration and population dynamics in North America and the Northern Triangle of Central America.
The global refugee resettlement landscape changed dramatically in 2017, as the United States began to step back from its role as global leader on resettlement. The Trump administration reduced the 2018 refugee admissions ceiling to the lowest level since the program began in 1980. While other countries increased their commitments or launched new programs, this was not enough to make up for the gap left by the United States.
Even as the United States and countries in Europe have made a right turn on immigration in recent years, Canada has remained a largely welcoming country. Underlying this resilience is an approach to immigration focused on active management and refinement of policies as well as long-term economic, social, and political integration, as this article explores.
Amid a sense of declining welcome in the United States, growing numbers of asylum seekers have crossed into Canada in recent months, entering illegally to take advantage of a loophole in the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement. The result? Refugee advocates and politicians in Canada are issuing growing calls to change or suspend the treaty. This article examines the treaty's history, effects, and current challenges.
Citizenship came under fire in new ways around the world in 2015, with attempts to both restrict who is eligible to become a citizen and who can be deprived of citizenship. Driven by fears of international terrorism, a number of countries proposed or passed legislation making it easier to narrow citizenship and broadening the range of offenses for which individuals can be stripped of their citizenship.
A number of countries in 2015 redesigned their immigrant investor visa programs in response to questions about their economic benefits or allegations of fraud. The reforms have in some cases made such programs far more costly and encouraged investment in higher-risk assets. Applications for such visas have fallen signficantly in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as policymakers may have overestimated demand.
As immigrant-destination countries emerge from the economic crisis at varying speeds, ensuring that the national labor force has the skills needed to fuel recovery has been high on the policy agenda. Migration has long been part of countries' skills strategies, but weak economies have created an additional impetus to maximize the economic benefits that skilled immigration can provide.
The United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Canada remain top destinations for international students seeking a world-class education. Yet even as these countries and their universities recruit international students—both for their tuition fees and their brain power—they undertook efforts in 2012 to crack down on student visa fraud and some also sought to tighten entry requirements. Other top student destinations, however, are focused on using their visa policy to actively encourage student retention.
In recent years, many governments have tightened their citizenship requirements as a way to promote better immigrant integration. In examining citizenship policy in the United States, Canada, and countries in the European Union, this article considers the balance policymakers face between requirements that may be too difficult for immigrants to meet and ones that will better help them find success in their new countries of residence.
Canada has long been a country of net immigration and has designed its current immigration policy around attracting highly educated and skilled migrants for entry into its labor force. In this country profile, Ashley Challinor discusses the challenges associated with this approach and provides a sense of the actual scale and nature of migration into Canada.
Over the past year, long-standing discussions and negotiations have resulted in several new information-sharing initiatives that seek to boost security while facilitating travel for legitimate travelers.
In response to an agricultural worker shortage over 40 years ago, Canada initiated a temporary migration program to brings workers from the Caribbean and later Mexico. But this "model" program also has its drawbacks, as Tanya Basok of the University of Windsor explains.
The U.S. Congress is considering a bill that includes a points system for permanent immigration. MPI's Demetrios G. Papademetriou outlines how points systems work, which countries have used them, their political benefits, and trends in points-system use.
Although most Central American refugees sought protection in the United States, Canada admitted thousands of Central American refugees in the 1980s. María Cristina García of Cornell University takes a detailed look at Central Americans in Canada
Many migratory streams from Central America — including refugees, economic migrants, and transit flows headed north from South America and elsewhere — have converged in North America since the 1980s. Sarah J. Mahler and Dusan Ugrina of Florida International University outline the region's main trends.
A steady stream of research since the 2001 census has highlighted the ways in which Canada is changing socially and demographically. In this updated profile, Brian Ray of the University of Ottawa examines debates over highly skilled migrants, the latest refugee numbers, and integration trends.