THE OLIVE BRANCH AND THE MAPLE LEAF: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF REFUGEE POLICIES IN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES AND THE POTENTIAL FOR BLENDED REFORM
Rollins, John W.
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This thesis reviewed the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) to address concerns regarding the program and actions taken by the Donald J. Trump administration. Specifically, the thesis sought to determine if the admission of refugees poses a threat to the United States and if the USRAP can be modified. To determine potential threats, the research reviewed several concerns, including physical threats that could be caused by refugee admissions as well as economic and social impacts that refugees could have on host countries or individual communities, and then weighed competing arguments against objective evidence. Additionally, the research made a broader comparison between the structure of the United States’ and Canada’s refugee programs to determine if best practices from both nations might craft an updated USRAP. Ultimately, the thesis determined that refugees pose neither a physical security risk nor an economic risk to the United States. The country, however, is currently failing in its statutory mandate to involve local communities in resettlement decisions; this has long-term negative effects on refugees and citizens. To address this concern, the United States should blend in smart practices from Canada’s Provincial Nominee Program to bring USRAP more in line with statutory requirements and current humanitarian needs.
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