Canada should welcome DACA deportees: Sen. Ratna Omidvar

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Up to 800,000 DACA young people in the US facing possible deportation could soon be considering Canada as their next destination. Canadian Senator Ratna Omidvar in an interview with a news outlet this week thinks Canada should welcome up to 30,000 DACA young people.

Trump administration’s decision to end a program that has allowed young, undocumented immigrants to remain in the United States for years, is going to be dominating news headlines for months and could potentially start a new exodus north of the border.

Omidvar said the program’s beneficiaries are precisely the kind of immigrants Canada should be pursuing for its economic migrant program.

In a way selecting future immigrants from the DACA pool could help Canada. For one, these young people who came with their parents illegally to the US have an American education, they’ve been vetted, so they have no criminal records and they are well-versed in the American way of life making them a group that will easily integrate into Canadian society.

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The Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is a temporary reprieve from deportation, renewable every two years (for a fee), but has no path to citizenship.

People who reside in the U.S. under this program are often called “Dreamers” after the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM). The bill was crafted to help those brought to the U.S. as children by allowing them to live there providing they graduate from school and have no criminal record.

The act has been struggling to become law since 2001, and has often seemed close to bipartisan success. But in recent years more Republicans have turned against it.

Omidvar thinks Canada should give “special consideration” to 10,000 to 30,000 of these young people either through the existing economic stream or as international students.

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Potentially Dreamers and others who could qualify to become future Canadian immigrants currently in the US are upward of a million. Canada currently admits over 300,000 immigrants each year. Taking care of most DACA people would really mean suspending immigration from other parts of the world for a few years.

Many of these young people are fluent in English and can integrate not just into society but in the workforce very easily. The last group of immigrants who had no difficulty integrating successfully almost instantly were draft dodgers from the US who came to Canada to avoid fighting in Vietnam. Thousands of those American young people went on to become productive Canadian citizens.- CINEWS

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