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March 28, 2021

Americans top list of illegals working in Canada: report

Following the lead of several U.S. cities, the City of Toronto recently passed a controversial 'access without fear' motion that would provide undocumented migrants access to municipal services such as food banks and homeless shelters.

The move sparked howls of protest from groups like The Centre for Immigration Policy Reform, who argue that by failing to uphold the law, Canada´s largest city has sent a message that the law doesn´t matter.

Dissenting councillor Minnan-Wong doesn't agree with the decision either, suggesting that illegals don't deserve access to government services.

“We shouldn’t encourage them. We shouldn’t help them. We should not facilitate them. They are an insult to every immigrant who plays by the rule to get into the country. They are an insult to every immigrant who is waiting to enter this country legally,” Minnan-Wong told the Toroto Star.

This policy change, even if it's largely symbolic, has critics worrying that Toronto will become even more of a haven for undocumented workers from 'God knows where' willing to work for crumbs under the table.

Except, according to recent Canada Border Services Agency figures, it's U.S. citizens that top the list of those working in Canada illegally.

After Americans, citizens of the Philippines and Israel were the most frequently apprehended for working illegally in Canada. Other nationalities with a high frequency of arrest for not following the rules include India, Ireland and Mexico. 

While it may be surprising that U.S. citizens topped the list, it's important to remember that they're also subject to less scrutiny. They're not required to apply for a visa in advance of travel to Canada’s border, for instance.

Nor, for the most part, are they subject to the same level of inspection as others when crossing the  border, notes Toronto lawyer Sharaf Sultan.

Does country of origin make a difference to you when looking at undocumented workers? What's your view on sanctuary initiatives? 

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...