Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to deliver an immigration policy speech during a campaign rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on Aug. 31, 2016, in Phoenix. (Photo: Ethan Vucci/AP)
Trump didn't mention Canada once in immigration speech
Some Republicans favour Canada-U.S. trade
'Canadians are such nice people'One Republican deadpanned that he worried about the northern border. In the next split-second, he made clear he was joking: "No, we're not really worried about the Canadians," said Jeff Hommedahl, alternate delegate from Minnesota. "Canadians are such nice people anyway. They're kind of like Minnesotans." He said he supported trade with Canada because living standards are similar, as are salaries. He wouldn't expect American workers to lose jobs like they do because of commerce with poorer countries. Loren Spivack said the purpose of border walls is stopping illegal migration: "The idea of a wall with Canada is kind of ridiculous," said Spivack, who displayed conservative-themed comic books outside the convention. "The border's 3,000 miles long — and there's not much of an illegal immigration problem with Canada."
'Why does Canada not have a wall?'Closer to the Rio Grande, some people see a double-standard. Enrique Morones is an advocate for southern migrants who drops water bottles in the desert to help them survive. It's true migration is a far bigger issue in the south but, he says, terrorism is also a concern in the north. He's calling racism on it. "Why does Canada not have a wall? We don't want them to have a wall. But why not? Because they have the same background (as the U.S.) — Anglo-Protestant. If the people in Canada were brown or black, you bet there'd be a wall," said Morones, who leads the California-based group Border Angels. "But it's like a cousin — the first cousin of the United States. You're the same people. You're white. That's why there's no wall... It's a double-standard." On rare occasions, U.S. media have questioned candidates about the differing rhetoric towards the two neighbours. One politician got tangled in it.
Scott Walker said he'd consider a wallNBC raised the issue with Scott Walker who replied that, yes, maybe a wall with Canada was worth considering. He was widely ridiculed; Trump brushed off the idea; and it was one of the final nails in the coffin of Walker's presidential campaign. Canada's government is perfectly pleased to remain in the background of this story. Officials say there aren't any plans to follow Mexico's lead and invite the election candidates to Ottawa. Meanwhile, the embassy in Washington is quietly engaged in behind-the-scenes outreach, and gathering research on how the players in the next White House and Congress might shape important issues. "It doesn't matter who I meet with — they're always friendly. It's amazing the number of times you see somebody and they say, 'I can't do anything to Canada because my wife's Canadian, or, 'My daughter goes to U of T,'" says Canada's ambassador, David MacNaughton. "At that level there's an enormous amount of goodwill... That's all good. (But) when you get right down to the nitty-gritty, the issues that matter, they're tough.... What's in it for them?... 'What's it mean to my district, my state?'" In the U.S. Congress, potential trade disputes loom over Canadian dairy imports and softwood-lumber exports. North of the border, these pass for top-level bilateral irritants.
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