Canada’s immigration minister will speak Friday about his country’s approach to immigration and refugee resettlement policies at the University of Minnesota.
Ahmed Hussen, who moved to Canada in 1993 as a refugee and in 2015 became the first Somali-Canadian elected to Parliament, was appointed earlier this year as the minister of immigration, refugee and citizenship.
In November, Hussen unveiled a plan to raise Canada’s annual immigration intake by more than 13 percent in contrast to its neighboring counterpart, the United States, which has taken drastic steps to slash the number of immigrant and refugees admissions to the U.S.
By the end of this year, Canada is projected to admit about 300,000 people, some of whom are expected to enter under work visas, family reunification and the refugee resettlement program. Between 2018 and 2020, the country — which has a population of 36.5 million people — plans to open its door to more than 700,000 immigrants and refugees in an effort to boost its economy as the country battles with retirement crisis.
During the Friday event, Hussen will address Canada’s approach to immigration policies, challenges it faces with these policies and how it cooperates with the U.S. around immigration issues.
The event is co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis and Global Minnesota, a nonprofit organization that promotes international understanding and engagement through public events, group discussions and professional exchange programs.
“It will give the opportunity for all of our attendees to not only hear what the minister has to say but also there will be an opportunity to ask questions as well,” said Carol Engebretson Byrne, president of Global Minnesota. “So I think it’s going to be a really, really important program.”
Mary Curtin, a diplomat-in-residence at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs who is moderating the discussion, said the reasons the minister will speak in Minnesota is partly because of Canada’s desire to have its policies understood more broadly in the U.S.
Though registration for the event, which will take place at noon Friday at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, is full, the public can still attend it for free — pending space availability.