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Corporate Lobbying and Immigration


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Independent Studies – Article Analysis
Corporate Lobbying and Immigration Policies in Canada – Ludovic Rheault – University of Montreal

The article examines the issue of whether special interest groups affect the behaviour of politicians and the debate is especially relevant to understand immigration policies. It is stated that the usual suspects behind expansive immigration policies are private firms, who would benefit from depressive impact of foreign labour on wages. The article’s objective is precisely to examine the impact of corporate lobbying on the levels of immigration in Canada. The article’s first argument is that national industries are unequally affected by changes in the skill composition of labour. Rheault states that “rather an advocating an unconditional expansion of immigration levels, the business community is more likely to agree on the desirability of policy tools allowing the selection of migrants with specific skills and backgrounds.” (Rheault, 2013). Rheault focuses on economic permanent immigration (immigrants selected using a point system accounting for educational attainment) and temporary workers (who are selected based on their occupation). Rheault’s argument emphasizes that even if special interests can exert a significant influence on policy makers motivated by re-election, the equilibrium response of governments depends on the complementarity between those two types of immigration. (Rheault, 2013). The idea that businesses play a key role in the shaping of immigration policies has been discussed several times before, ex. Freeman, Menz and Tichenor, however, quantitative evidence is limited by the difficulty of measuring the process of influence and the direct measure of business influence on the specific issue of immigration has not been examined. Rheault exclaims and discusses the relevance of the issue of businesses being

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