Immigration experts fear that Canada will increase its standing as an entry point to the United States for undocumented immigrants. The country is set to lift visa requirements for visitors coming from Mexico as of 1 December this year.
With the border between the United States and Canada thinly policed, immigration watchers are concerned that undocumented immigrants will take the opportunity to cross there.
Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, Jessica Vaughn, says that with many parts of the southern US border becoming more and more difficult to traverse without detection, the Canadian-US border could be seen as an enticing option and that the US border agency should be equally concerned.
Vaughn points out that if anyone from Mexico can travel to Canada without needing a visa, it raises the possibility of Mexican undocumented immigrants, already deported from the United States, also re-entering the country. Vaughn notes that Canada has far fewer welfare programs than the United States. This, as well as the strong family ties many have with people in the US, makes it more likely for undocumented immigrants to cross the border rather than remain in Canada.
Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, says that the decision to remove visa requirements for Mexican nationals will benefit both Canada and Mexico on social and economic levels, and be particularly beneficial for the Canadian middle-class.