Canadians like to think of themselves as more civilized than our American neighbors, but when it comes to immigration, Canada has a lot to learn.
I am a US citizen by birth, along with my children. My wife is a US citizen by naturalization. The only difference in our legal status is that my wife cannot be the President or Vice-President of the United States, a restriction which is written into the US Constitution, and for most people is really not a big deal. In every other respect, all US citizens are equal before the law; this right is guaranteed by the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and cannot be overridden by statute.
US citizenship is valued in large part because of the opportunities that it provides, and the openness with which those opportunities are offered. The promise of equality is central to the core concept of American opportunity. It is the reason why Americans of all origins can call the United States their home. You are one of us, no matter where you are from, or how you got here. You are always welcome home, no matter where you go, or how long you leave.
Having been born and raised with these values, it comes as an absolute shock to me that Canadians would wish to demote citizens of immigrant origins to second-class status. I have no direct voice in Canadian politics, since I am not a citizen, but after seeing this ugly outcome, I am not even sure I want to be a (second-class) citizen. By degrading the privileges of citizenship, you degrade the value of citizenship. To be clear, I appreciate the warmth with which I have been welcomed into Canada and the economic opportunities that have been given to me. But I feel that immigration must be a two-way street, and that immigrants deserve respect as well, regardless of where they came from.