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MI Responds: Canada Poised to Poach America’s High-Skilled Immigrants

Culture Immigration, Culture & Society

New York, NY – Yesterday, the Canadian government announced it will allow all U.S. H-1B visa holders to move to Canada, work and live without restriction, and obtain permanent residency in three years. Manhattan Institute fellows Daniel Di Martino and Robert VerBruggen argue this has direct implications on the U.S.'s ability to attract the world's most talented immigrants:

"This is a smart immigration move for Canada but very bad news for the United States. For years, we have been severely limiting the number of high-skilled immigrants we let in legally, and delaying the typical legal immigration process by years through burdensome red tape. Now, other countries are actively recruiting our few high-skilled legal immigrants. This is why it's imperative to accelerate America's bureaucratic process of admitting high-skilled immigrants, and for allowing their spouses and children to work here legally. If Congress and the president don't act, America will slowly lose its technological edge."

- Daniel Di Martino is a graduate fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where he focuses on high-skill immigration policy. His reports on the topic include Reducing the Immigration Backlog and Improving U.S. Immigration.

“While other countries are organizing their immigration systems around the goal of selecting people with valuable skills, the U.S. has long been preoccupied with family ties. Even the parts of the system that do focus on skills are poorly designed, as with the H-1B program, which involves a random lottery, and the employment-based green card system, which imposes home-country-based limits without regard to population size. Canada trying to poach H-1B holders is a smart move on their part, and should be a wakeup call for us.”

- Robert VerBruggen is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and the author of Which Immigrants Succeed? Simple Facts to Guide Better Policy.

Media inquiries for Daniel or Robert can be directed to press officer Nicolas Abouchedid at

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