CFGI Mentioned – “U.S.-Canada Mobility More Difficult in Trump Era”

6/15/2017
SHRM

“Cross-border immigration between Canada and the United States—never ideal—has gotten more difficult during the Donald Trump presidential administration, a panel of industry experts said, but there's also a great opportunity ahead with the upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“The panel outlined the challenges between the two neighbors and provided an inkling into the possibilities of a reworked NAFTA for attendees of the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI) 2017 Symposium.

“Jonathan Grode, an attorney and U.S. practice director for law firm Green and Spiegel, based in Toronto, said that the biggest impact Trump has had on cross-border immigration and mobility has been a change in tone, which has led to ‘potentially harsher adjudications and stricter inspections at the border,’ as opposed to any actual statutory or regulatory changes.

“…Regarding TN visas for Canadian workers under NAFTA, ‘each case requires more attention and dedication in terms of strategy than before,’ Grode added. ‘Gone are the days of easy facilitation…’

“One change Grode has seen at the border in the last several months has to do with NEXUS, the program that allows prescreened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada. 

“…[Evan] Green added that Trump's January announcement of a temporary ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries ‘created hysteria for companies across Canada,’ where many foreign nationals from those countries currently reside and work.

“Grode said there will be a greater push for compliance investigations on the U.S. side of the border, whether they come from Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division. 

“…The [Trump] administration gave Congress official notice in May that it plans to renegotiate the agreement, and talks are set to open in August. Industry stakeholders such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and CFGI have already submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative's office on potential changes.

“Stephen Cryne, president and CEO of the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC)…worked in tandem with SHRM and CFGI to submit a wish list for changes.

“‘Canada and the U.S. are among each other's largest trading partners, and yet we have one of the most outdated frameworks for the movement of people [compared with] other trade agreements in use today,’ he said.

“…‘…[T]here are major points in renegotiation we feel are necessary,’ Cryne said, including:

  • “…Implementing Known Employer programs that expedite processing. ‘CFGI has been pushing for this, to ensure better processing and more predictability at the ports of entry,’ he said.”

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