GMF and Canadian Embassy host first part of the Taking the Immigration Debate Across Borders: GMF Embassy Event Series
On Thursday June 24, GMF’s Immigration and Integration program and the Embassy of Canada hosted a lunch event at the Canadian Embassy entitled: “A Neighborly Comparison - Upcoming Immigration Challenges for the U.S. and Canada.” The event was the first of GMF’s Taking the Immigration Debate Across Borders: GMF Embassy Event Series, and focused on the broad policy challenges immigration poses for both countries, including immigration levels and demand-driven models, state/provincial relations with the federal government, and immigrant integration. The event began with a welcome from Kevin O’Shea, Minister (Political Affairs), Embassy of Canada, followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, with Sandra Harder, Director General of Immigration Policy for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), and Denise Vanison, Chief, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Sandra Harder and Denise Vanison began by introducing the work of their respective agencies and detailed programs to address current and upcoming immigration policy challenges in the United States and Canada. Topics discussed included Canada’s Provincial Nomination Program and the updated integration grantmaking initiatives at USCIS. Data from GMF’s Transatlantic Trends: Immigration 2009 survey was also used a basis to highlight parallels and divergences in U.S. and Canadian views on immigration.
The moderated discussion that followed touched upon perceived shortcoming in current integration programs in the United States, the foreign policy implications of current U.S. domestic immigration, philosophical differences between the U.S. and Canadian immigration systems, and how more data is needed to government agencies can better examine what allows an immigrant to achieve economic and social advancement.