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A unique program in which communities privately sponsor refugees arriving from the Middle East and elsewhere has resulted in Canada absorbing them into society — including jobs — faster than any country in the West, according to a comprehensive new report comparing 22 nations.

  • What sets Canada apart: Its flexible labor market, decentralized settlement services and welcoming culture, which combine to get refugees into jobs rapidly, according to the report by the Tent Foundation and the Open Political Economy Network (OPEN). "There's a perception in the world that taking on refugees can be a burden to a country ... [but] they really do make serious contributions to the economy," Tent's Gideon Maltz told Axios.

Other main findings: Getting to work in most of Europe takes much longer, due to a highly regulated labor market that leaves asylum-seekers "in limbo for years," the report's authors write. Switzerland is the exception. Look where the countries stack up:

Expand chart
Note: Some countries place further restrictions on asylum seekers' right to work; Data: OECD; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

Canada and the U.S. have the least-restrictive regulations on temporary employment, compared to Norway and France, which are toughest on temporary jobs.

Bottom line: For every dollar or euro spent on welcoming refugees, economies receive nearly twice that in five years, Tent and OPEN reported last year.

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.