Over the past few weeks stories have flooded the news circuit about families and immigrants from the United States walking to Canada to avoid living in an increasingly dividing country.
As soon as they cross the border, however, they are arrested and detained yet the families still take the risk in hopes for a better life.
So how hard is it to enter the country legally as an immigrant or refugee?
“There’s different ways of doing it. You can apply as a skilled worker. There’s a program…where you put a profile on the web and people if they want to offer you a job they can offer you a job depending the circumstances.”
Says immigration lawyer Ed Corrigan. Corrigan has practiced immigration law for 25 years in London. He adds that there are essential factors that the Canadian government looks into while reviewing each applicant.
“Your age, your work experience both in and out of Canada….it’s very heavily emphasized that you speak either English or French.”
Immigration has become a hot topic once again since President Donald Trump came into power and immediately ordered a travel ban to seven countries. Although it was eventually blocked by judges, he recently ordered a new one.
But it hasn’t just been Trump who’s been under fire with his view on immigrants and refugees. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken heat from some as being too lenient towards accepting refugees into Canada. However Ed Corrigan says he hasn’t noticed much of a change.
“The Liberals I think have a little more of an open attitude towards immigrants. The Conservatives were assumed to be quite strict and it’s kind of like…the attitude of what we see in the Trump administration in the United States, a little hostile to immigrants.”
Corrigan adds that Canada not only should bring in more refugees and immigrants into Canada, but it has to.
“Canada needs immigrants because our demographic birthrate is so low, it’s below the level to maintain our population. There are people that look at these issues that say Canada needs about 300,000 immigrants coming in each year just to…grow our population and make sure we have enough people.”
Corrigan says the aging baby boom population also plays a role in Canada needing to bring in more immigrants to maintain and grow Canada’s population.