Canada is often regarded as the United States’ friendlier neighbor to the north, but how welcoming is it really? A critical analysis of immigration and citizenship policy throughout Canadian history reveals that Canada may not be the inclusive member of the world community it is often conceptualized as. This paper examines some of the recent key changes in Canadian immigration policy and their broader contexts, while benchmarking the policies against two leading scholars' thoughts on how the relative presence of certain political ideologies in a country drives its immigration policies to the left or right of the political spectrum. As early 21st century policy changes are outlined, it becomes clear that the standard explanations for political parties as explanatory factors in immigration legislation do not hold entirely true in Canada. Instead, a broader, bipartisan political framework can be used to understand Canadian policy changes. The paper concludes by explaining that party politics do account for some of the reasoning behind changes in Canada, but that a surprisingly cooperative Liberal party, and a surprisingly lenient bureaucratic framework, should be used to reframe Canada as a less friendly, unquestioned welcomer of all than it is often seen as today.



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