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DACA Deportees Should Be Welcomed to Canada, According To Ontario Senator

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Since taking office, US President Donald Trump has launched a number changes that have had global repercussions, but his latest — rescinding the country’s DACA program — could benefit Canada in significant ways.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program temporarily protects people who arrived in the US as children from deportation. They are allowed to live there as long as they graduate and do not have a criminal record.

On Tuesday, Trump announced his intention to rescind the DACA program. It is estimated that there are 800,000 young people living under the DACA program that could now face deportation.

Read More: White House Gives Congress 6 Months to Act on DACA, Leaving 800,000 Immigrant Children in Limbo

The young people living in the US under the DACA program are exactly the kind of people Canada should be hoping to welcome into the country, according to Ontario Independent Sen. Ratna Omidvar.

“These individuals are low-hanging fruit for us,” Omidvar told CBC. “They speak fluent English, they've been educated in the US, most of them have been to college or university, some of them have work experience. They understand the North American working culture.”

Given that they are young people that have had criminal checks as well as undergone biometrics testing, Omidvar sees them as ideal candidates for Canada’s economic migrant program. She believes Canada ought to reach out.

Read More: 7 Ways You Can Help Undocumented Immigrants Right Now

“Just as this is an opportunity for Canada, it is also an opportunity for other countries — including source countries of origin like Mexico and other Latin American countries,” she told CBC.

Omidvar suggests that Canada give allow 10,000 to 30,000 of these young people to come to Canada either through a current economic stream or as students, according to CBC.

“These young people have resiliency. They understand how the American system works. They understand American insecurities and securities,” she said. “And if their personal safety can be guaranteed in source countries, maybe this is the new elite that will participate in nation building in those countries which their parents left, 20-plus years ago.”

The decision to end the DACA policy will not go into effect for another six months, so there is also a possibility that legislation will be passed that will keep these undocumented people in the US.