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Bush to Meet with Canadian PM to Discuss Immigration - 2001-09-24

President Bush meets Monday at the White House with Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien. The talks will focus on efforts to build an international coalition to battle terrorism.

White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer says President Bush wants to personally thank Prime Minister Chretien for the support and solidarity shown by the Canadian people following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

But after the expressions of gratitude these talks are likely to quickly get down to business. Mr. Fleischer says they will focus on the next steps in the war on terrorism.

One issue likely to arise is immigration policy. Canada has a far more open policy than the United States, and there are concerns that terrorists are landing on Canadian soil and then slipping into America.

U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Celluci last week urged the Canadians to work with the United States to develop a common set of immigration rules. But Prime Minister Chretien dismissed the idea, saying immigration is central to Canada's identity and it is not willing to change.