Since 2016, an estimated 40,000 individuals have crossed the Canadian/U.S. border, seeking asylum, impacted by changing U.S policies on immigration.3 Some come from countries affected by the U.S. immigration ban, while others come as the result of failed refugee claims, worsening discrimination and immigration enforcement. In this perspective piece, we outline how domestic U.S policy can have rippling effects internationally, focusing on Canada. From direct health impacts from mental health and trauma, to limited access to health care, the impact on housing and employment, and finally the subtle but poignant shift in Canadian values, we argue that the impacts of U.S immigration policy are not only felt domestically, but globally. Finally, we seek to identify ways in which child health advocates and policymakers alike can support the well being of refugee claimant children across both borders.

Key Take Away Points

  • There have been an increase in asylum seekers crossing the border between Canada and the USA since 2016
  • Many of these are children, whom are American citizens
  • Refugee claimant children in Canada face multiple barriers to adequate care and limited resources
  • Child health advocates in both Canada and the USA can work collaboratively to advocate and care for these children

Author Biography

Dr. Shazeen Suleman is a general pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital, and the physician lead on our Newcomer to Canada clinic. A Sommer Scholar at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, her research interests include understanding healthy resettlement of refugee claimant children. Dr. Ripudaman Minhas is a developmental pediatrician and the Director of Research for the Department of Pediatrics at St. Michael’s Hospital. He was a Global Health Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and has an academic interest in the development of refugee children. Dr. Tony Barozzino is a general pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital, in Toronto, Canada. He is the chair of the Caring for Kids New to Canada taskforce, an initiative of the Canadian Pediatric Society to provide resources and information for child health providers caring for refugee and immigrant children.