Below are the latest immigration updates from the United States and Canada.
- Canadian immigration employment rates reach new high in 2018.
- Canada’s Global Skills Strategy program recruits workers from the U.S.
- Report proves it is still smart to go to college in the United States.
- Are bad attitudes toward immigrants hurting the economy?
Read on for more about each of these important news items affecting immigrants and international students coming to North America.
According to recently released government data, around 24,000 people were admitted to Canada under the Global Skills Strategy program over the past two years. The program provides an expedited application process for high-skilled foreign workers. According to Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, nearly a quarter of those admitted under the program had previously lived in the United States, but were ultimately dissatisfied with the country’s tighter visa restrictions. Data from the job listing site Indeed.com indicates a rapid uptick in foreign interest in Canadian technology jobs, which comes at the expense of the United States. In April 2019, over 14 percent of clicks on Canadian technology jobs came from foreign workers; only 9 percent of clicks went to the U.S.
Even with rising numbers of new immigrants to Canada, the employment rate for recent immigrants reached a new high in 2018, according to the Finance Ministry. The employment rate for immigrants ages 25 to 54 reached 71 percent in 2018 (its highest level since measurements were first made in 2006). The memo attributes the strong numbers to the country’s welcoming attitude toward immigrants and its focus on human capital and employability in immigration policy decisions.
However, all is not ideal for international migrants in Canada. Those entering the country to study abroad might find it difficult to afford tuition and other costs associated with higher education if they are only permitted to work 20 hours per week on a student visa. Some international students are illegally working overtime to support their academic ambitions, and recent cases against them have been making headlines and bringing this issue into a wider national discourse.
Brown University has published a new paper stating that universities have lowered their graduation standards in recent decades. This is largely blamed on the fact that states award funding based on a university’s performance. Since the 1990s, college completion rates have risen consistently, even though there has been a decline in the academic preparedness of incoming students and fewer reported study hours.
However, it is still valuable to hold a college degree from the United States, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Research indicates that individuals with a college degree are likely to earn up to $30,000 USD more per year than workers with only a high school diploma. It also suggests that despite rising tuition fees, the return on investment in a college education remains positive, with returns of around 14 percent—far exceeding other investment options.
On another positive note, global mobility and migration continue to trend upward, worldwide, despite increasing barriers in some countries, like the United States. One barrier is simply a matter of myth and perception about migrants, according to a recent article by the New York Times. Attitude alone can have a detrimental effect on government policy, individual motivation, economic potential, and opportunities for organized support.
One thing that many people may not know, for example, is the fact that H1-B visas (which are currently in decline in the United States) actually bring in money that goes toward STEM research and education for Americans. Real economic losses like these, which are obscured by myths about migrants, will continue to play out for years to come in many high-barrier countries.
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