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Immigration Law

Canadian Policy Offers a Lesson for US

Posted Jun 27, 2007 8:37 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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With twice as many immigrants coming into the country annually as in the U.S., Canada's system--which otherwise is similar to proposed legislation in Congress--offers cautionary lessons about what doesn't work.

One drawback is a points system that provides credits for desired traits, like education and English fluency, but is difficult to understand, reports the New York Times.

“I am a university professor, and I can barely figure out the points system,” says Don J. DeVoretz, an economics and immigration systems expert at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. "Lawyers have books that are three feet thick explaining the system.”

Another disadvantage is a cumbersome approval process, which has created a huge backlog of applications and delays that rival or exceed those complained about in the U.S. In recent testimony before a U.S .House of Representatives immigration subcommittee, a Toronto lawyer likened Canada's system top a bathtub whose faucet is on full blast--while the drain is clogged. "It is not surprising that Canada’s bathtub is overflowing,” Howard Greenberg said.


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