How are Canada and the USA similar and different with regards to immigration?


While reading the NY Post this morning I found this short opinion piece. It states:

While “a politically divisive debate continues to rage” in the United States over a Census question on citizenship, Canada’s census has been asking about it since 1901, reports CBC’s Kathleen Harris. The long form asks, “Of what country is this person a citizen?” and allows three answers: “Canada, by birth,” “Canada, by naturalization” or “Other country — specify.” And for all the US fears that “the question would discourage immigrants from participating in the census,” the Canadian government’s “data quality assessment indicators have not flagged any issues specifically related to the citizenship question.” More: “The Library of Parliament could not find any significant debate, controversy or court case related to the inclusion of a citizenship question on the Canadian census form.”

This makes me wonder if Canadian and American immigration can be quickly compared like this. Are they apples to apples? How are the Canadian and American immigration landscapes similar and different? I'm more concerned with information about illegal immigration, but general information greatly appreciated as well.


Posted 2019-07-11T19:23:20.803

Reputation: 1 262

3This question would probably be great for a thesis, but for this site, you should consider narrowing it down to something more specific that can be answered in a few paragraphs. – Joe C – 2019-07-11T19:47:31.290

@JoeC I'm content with 5 paragraphs, however generalized they'd need to be. Direction to learn more from there would be enough. If it helps narrow things, illegal immigration is my biggest concern, so other aspects can be neglected. – frеdsbend – 2019-07-11T19:59:27.973


This comparison seems strange because the US long form census (~1 in 6) has also had the citizenship question on it. In 2010 the long form was not used as the yearly American Community Survey. (~1 in 8 over 5 years) asked roughly similar questions including citizenship.

– katatahito – 2019-07-12T05:53:49.900

@katatahito Those seem reasons for it not being strange. – frеdsbend – 2020-03-29T05:59:49.500

No answers