America is known as the “land of opportunity,” a slogan that has drawn immigrants to the country for generations upon generations. In fact, America is a country built entirely by immigrants from all over the world seeking better opportunities for themselves and their family. In America, it is a hot-button issue. One of the most frequent claims against immigration is that it takes away job opportunities from citizens born in the United States, thus hurting labor markets and stunting economic growth.
Unlike America, immigration to Canada is viewed in a positive light and individuals such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau try to dispel false information. It is true there are many myths about immigration, including the argument mentioned above. So what are the two most common myths about immigration, and how do they compare in the U.S. and Canada?
Myth 1: Immigration is bad for economic growth
In most developed countries, birth rates are typically low, which makes replacement required in Western countries difficult to meet. For every 1,000 women in a developed nation, replacement needs just over 2,000 births. In the U.S., replacement births have not met population growth requirements since 1971. In short, this means that developed countries rely on immigration to provide new generations of skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and laborers as well as replacing retiring populations.
Immigration to Canada is heavily encouraged due to these factors, as only 1/3 of Canada’s population growth is attributed to birth rates. In Canada’s Atlantic Provinces, which include New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island, the Canadian government is increasing its effort to incorporate foreign skilled workers and international graduates into Canada’s labor force. By welcoming immigrants, communities across Canada can effectively support and sustain economic growth.
In the U.S., immigration has played a significant role in economic growth in all sectors, especially for tech start-ups and the establishment of major businesses. Today, half of the country’s leading start-up businesses worth at least USD 1$ billion were founded by immigrants or immediate family, as well as nearly half of U.S. Fortune 500 corporations. Even more, all of the 2016 Nobel Prize recipients in scientific and economic fields were immigrants.
Myth 2: Jobs are “stolen” by immigrants
This is one of the most commonly perpetuated myths in America. First and foremost, highly-skilled immigrants continually promote growth of job markets in the U.S. Statistics from the American Enterprise Institute show that 262 jobs are created for U.S.-born citizens by every 100 immigrant STEM workers and for every 100 H-1B visa issued, immigrants create 183 jobs. In the self-employment category, immigrants make up 19% of workers, and 1 out of 10 American workers are employed by a company owned by an immigrant.
In Canada, immigrants contribute to economic growth and job creation throughout the country in a number of ways, which include incorporating skilled-workers into the labor force, attracting foreign business investors, and utilizing entrepreneurial skills brought into the country through immigration. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) statistics for 2015, Canada welcomed approximately 70,000 skilled workers, more than 5,540 foreign investors, and more than 44,534 immigrant businessmen and women through Provincial Nominee Programs.
Getting beyond immigration myths
Whether American citizens like to admit it or not, the United States is what it is today, largely due to the skills, innovation, and diversity immigrants bring to the country. With the future of U.S. immigration left in uncertainty, those seeking immigration solutions for themselves and their families are increasingly looking to America’s northern neighbor: Canada.
Business-minded individuals and entrepreneurs can obtain Canadian permanent residency through a number of business immigration options, such as the popular Quebec Immigrant Investor Program or Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program for Business. While each program has its own application requirements, both afford successful applicants and their family benefits such as free healthcare, education, and various social services. In return, immigrants to Canada provide needed economic growth and sustainability as well as bringing world’s top businessmen and women, skilled workers, and entrepreneurs into the Canadian labor market.
In a country that recognizes the benefits of immigration, it’s no wonder Canada is quickly becoming the new “land of opportunity.”
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