Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Feds Analyse Implications for Canada If 'Dreamers' Program in U.S. Ends

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Feds Analyse Implications for Canada If 'Dreamers' Program in U.S. Ends

Article excerpt

End of 'Dreamers' program could impact Canada


OTTAWA - An internal government analysis of U.S. immigration policy suggests significant implications for Canada if a program offering protections for people who came to the U.S. illegally as children is allowed to end.

In September, President Donald Trump moved to end the deferred action for childhood arrivals program, known as DACA, which gives work permits and reprieve from deportation to hundreds of thousands of high school graduates or military personnel under the age of 31 who came to the U.S. illegally as kids.

The potential for the program's demise set off shock waves in the U.S. that radiated all the way into the Privy Council Office in Ottawa.

The same day, the office, which supports the prime minister, asked Global Affairs whether they had analysis ready and in turn, the Canadian embassy in Washington sent in its observations, according to documents obtained by The Canadian Press under access to information laws.

Why such a rush for analysis wasn't specified, but the DACA announcement came after a summer when hundreds of people a day were showing up at the Canada-U.S. border to seek asylum thanks to another pending change in U.S. policy -- the end of a stay on deportation to certain countries, known as temporary protected status.

That influx sent officials scrambling to spool up immigration and public safety resources and mount an extensive outreach campaign to stem the flow.

"Any additional pressures as a result of changes the U.S. government may take with regard to the DACA program will need to be considered in light of current operational demands," the briefing note says.

The temporary protected status changes could affect about 400,000 people.

Meanwhile, 1.7 million could be eligible for DACA and close to 800,000 are enrolled. While Trump delayed the end of the program by six months for Congress to come up with a legislative fix for those already part of the program, the briefing note points out that over 600,000 permits will expire at that deadline and won't be renewed.

"With respect to Canada, the implications could also be significant," the analysis said.

On Thursday, nearly two dozen Republicans said they would lend their support to a legislative effort, but Speaker Paul Ryan, also a Republican, said he saw no need to act before Trump's deadline. …

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