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Migrant acceptance in Canada, U.S. follows political lines

Staff Writer |
Canada and the U.S. are both among the top 10 most-accepting countries in the world for migrants, but Canadians are somewhat more open to migrants than their American neighbors.

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Canada scores an 8.14 out of a possible 9.0 on Gallup's Migrant Acceptance Index (MAI), ranking it fourth out of 140 countries, while the U.S. is in ninth place, with a score of 7.86.

Gallup created the Migrant Acceptance Index to gauge people's acceptance of migrants based on increasing degrees of personal proximity.

The index is based on three questions Gallup asked in 138 countries in 2016 and in the U.S. and Canada in 2017.

The questions ask whether people think migrants living in their country, becoming their neighbors and marrying into their families are good things or bad things. The higher the score, the more accepting the population is of migrants.

The bulk of the most-accepting countries for migrants come from regions all over the globe - Oceania, Western Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and Northern America.

However, a common thread tying many of the most-accepting countries together is their long reputation as receiving countries for migrants - like the U.S. and Canada.

But the future of this reputation is currently in question in these two countries.

At the same time that Canada's government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been opening its doors wider to migrants and refugees, the U.S. government under President Donald Trump has been trying to shut its doors.

Migrant acceptance in both countries largely follows these political fault lines. In the U.S., those who approve of Trump's job performance score a 7.08 out of a possible 9.0 on the Migrant Acceptance Index, while those who disapprove score nearly 1.5 points higher - 8.54.

In Canada, those who approve of Trudeau's job performance score an 8.64, while the score is 7.84 among those who disapprove.

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