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Data: Center for Security and Emerging Technology; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Canada is convincing an increasing number of noncitizen American residents with tech talent to instead settle north of the border.

Why it matters: The U.S. risks losing its long-standing leadership in the tech sector as restrictive laws and a hostile political climate causes highly skilled immigrants to leave for more welcoming countries.

What's happening: In a new report, CSET research fellow Zachary Arnold analyzed the success of Canada's skilled immigration system in attracting tech and scientific talent from abroad.

  • Canada's Express Entry program prioritizes potential immigrants who score high on work experience and education, as well as other factors. Those who score above a cutoff receive fast track invitations to apply for permanent Canadian residence.
  • Arnold crunched new data and found that the number of U.S. residents receiving Express Entry invites to Canada rose 75% between 2017 and 2019, more than almost any other country.
  • The U.S. rose to third in invites in 2019, after India and Canada itself. (Noncitizen residents in Canada can use the Express Entry program to apply for permanent residency.)

Context: With the White House moving to freeze green cards — including the coveted H-1B visas used in the tech sector — Canada has pushed to attract talent across the border.

  • "If this affects your plans consider coming to Canada," Tobi Lutke, CEO of the Ottawa-based e-commerce company Shopify, tweeted last month.

The bottom line: The U.S. is accustomed to being the destination of choice for the best and the brightest, but if it closes the door to skilled immigrants, its neighbor to the north will be happy to welcome them.

Go deeper

The plunge in highly skilled work visas

Data: U.S. State Department via Migration Policy Institute: Note: Including E1, E2, H-1B, H-4, L-1, L-2, O-1, O-2, O-3, TN and TD visas; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus has slammed the door on highly skilled foreign workers — amping up President Trump's push to limit American-based companies' hiring of foreigners.

Why it matters: The restrictions and bottlenecks may outlast the pandemic, especially if Trump wins reelection. Economists warn that could slow the U.S. recovery and reduce competitiveness.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse under scrutiny for elite club affiliations

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in February. Photo: Susan Walsh-Pool/Getty Image

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said in a statement Wednesday that he is a member of an exclusive Rhode Island sailing club that lacks diversity.

Why it matters: Whitehouse has repeatedly spoken out against systemic racism and come under scrutiny this week for his family's affiliation with elite clubs. This is the second such club accused of lacking diversity that the senator has been linked to in recent days

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Border Democrats want migrants vaccinated

Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Tex.) Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Some Democrats representing border districts want President Biden to vaccinate migrants crossing into the U.S. — especially if he lifts public health restrictions that have prevented them from claiming asylum on American soil.

Why it matters: Inoculating migrants treads a fine line of protecting the U.S. population while possibly incentivizing more migration with the offer of free COVID-19 vaccines. Republicans are likely to pounce on that.