The U.S.’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is set to end, leaving up to 800,000 Dreamers uncertain about their future in the United States. Canadian immigration lawyers have already begun to receive calls from some of these Dreamers who are asking about potential Canadian options.
Already this year Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board has seen an uptick in asylum requests from Mexicans. In the first seven months of 2017, 606 applications have been filed. Compare this to the 242 filed in all of 2016, and it is easy to see how the end of the DACA program could potentially increase those numbers.
Some Canadians are wary of accepting more immigrants, especially as the social safety nets are already strained because of an influx of immigrants from the Middle East, Haiti and Africa. However advocates for Dreamers believe the influx of “culturally adapted” Mexican Dreamers could bolster the Canadian economy.
Regardless of where Canadians stand on immigration, there are calls for a review of Canadian immigration policy. If too many Dreamers are turned away they could resort to illegal entries. A system that is open for legal entry and applications could prevent an abuse of Canada’s immigration system.
Right now records show that for every one Mexican asylum applicant who gains legal entry to Canada, six are denied. Dreamers who have not completed their college degrees or have not had stable work experience will be denied immigrant status. But they can apply for refugee status, a process that can take years and is likely to end in a denial.
The DACA program is scheduled to end in six months, giving the Canadian government some time to prepare for a large influx. Already some legislators are taking measures to control the tide. Ontario Senator Ratna Omidvar recommends allowing 30,000 Dreamers into Canada. There is no further information on the status of this recommendation or if Canadians are willing and able to absorb more refugees into their country.