Since the beginning of December 2016 Mexican’s no longer need a visa to enter Canada. Following comments in the run up to the presidential elections in the USA regarding Donald Trump’s promised to crack down on illegal immigrants, the introduction of the visa free rules is worrying many Canadian’s. Officials in Canada are preparing themselves for a potential surge in Mexican migrants from both Mexico and the USA. Whilst the visa free arrangements have been welcomed in terms of attracting more Mexican tourists and businessmen it is also raising concerns about the rise in Mexican asylum seekers. Between the years of 2005 and 2008 refugee claims from Mexico nearly tripled making Canada the top country for Mexican asylum seekers and of over 9000 claims only a little over 10% were accepted. For this reason the visa system was introduced and those seeking asylum plummeted to only 120. However, under increasing pressure from the Mexican government and in exchange for Mexico increasing beef imports from Canada, the visa system has been scrapped. It remains to be seen whether the fears over mass immigration play out. If Trump goes ahead with his plans to crack down on immigrants including the now famous ‘wall’ between the USA and Mexico is suspected that many Mexicans will move north. One Toronto immigration lawyer says “It’s the lifting of the visa and the fact that Trump is going to take over, those two factors together are seen as a major pull factor attracting people to come to Canada.” The Canadian government has tried to calm nerves stating that the visa agreement can be revoked and visas reintroduced should there be a large influx of Mexicans into the country over the coming months and years. It is hoped in many quarters that a steady influx of Mexican will boost tourism and trade and fill some skills shortages.
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