S-Space Researcher Institutes (연구소) American Studies Institute (미국학연구소) 미국학 미국학 Volume 31 Number 1/2 (2008)
Between Global Norms and Domestic Institutions: Postwar Immigration Policymaking in Canada and the United States
- Triadafilospoulos, Triadafilos
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 미국학연구소
- 미국학, Vol.31 No.1, pp. 93-131
- Although both Canada and the United States are self-declared immigration countries, their means of regulating admissions are quite different. Whereas the United States privileges family reunification, Canada's "points system" grants policymakers greater flexibility in tailoring immigration flows to meet changing economic needs. This paper explores the origins of these distinct approaches. I argue the two states' policies have similar roots: In the post-World War II era, changing norms ertaining to race, ethnicity, and human rights cast longstanding discriminatory policies in Canada and the United States in a highly critical light. Opponents of racial discrimination in immigration policy took advantage of this new normative context to highlight the lack of fit between Canada and the United States' commitment to liberal norms and human rights and their extant policy regimes. This pressure set in motion comparable processes of policy "stretching" and "unraveling," which culminated in policy "shifting" in the mid-1960s. Processes of policy change were, however, subject to quite different political dynamics. Canada's institutional configuration granted the executive branch and bureaucracy a high degree of autonomy; policy change therefore accorded to models of elite learning. Conversely, the greater openness of the American political system and the pivotal role of Congressional committees led to a more politicized process. As a result, the executive branch's efforts to recast immigration policy in conomic terms, as in Canada, failed. The result was a patchwork policy that aimed to mol1ify distinct and conflicting interests. Thus, while Canada and the United States both replaced discriminatory policies with more liberal alternatives, the objectives of their respective policies were quite different.
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