On Sunday Migrants in Canada, including students, refugees, and undocumented individuals, marched in cities throughout Canada to demand permanent residency status for all before the resumption of federal parliament on Monday.
This article breaks down the key points and reasons behind this movement.
Why the Protests for Demanding Permanent Residency Status?
- Push for Inclusive Pathway: Migrants are advocating for an inclusive permanent residency program that applies to everyone, including undocumented immigrants, without any exceptions.
- UN Expert’s Warning: The call for change has gained momentum following a United Nations expert’s criticism of Canada’s temporary foreign worker program, which he described as a “breeding ground for contemporary forms of slavery.”
Insight from Organizers
- 1.7 Million Affected: Organizers, like Sarom Rho, emphasize that approximately 1.7 million people in Canada hold temporary study or work permits but lack a clear pathway to permanent residency.
- Essential Contributions: Many of these migrants play crucial roles in Canadian society, working in frontline positions, caring for children, and contributing to the food industry.
“Without permanent resident status migration, undocumented people are facing massive exploitation at work, are denied life-saving treatments in healthcare, live in daily fear of deportation and the pain of family separation,”Sarom Rho
According to CBC News Rho explained:
“That’s one in every 23 people, and it hurts all of us when a segment of our society is denied the same rights and protections as everyone else,”Sarom Rho
Challenges Faced by Undocumented Individuals
- Workplace Exploitation: Undocumented individuals without permanent resident status often face exploitation at their workplaces, which can affect their well-being.
- Access to Healthcare: These individuals may also be denied access to essential medical treatments, putting their health in jeopardy.
- Constant Fear: The fear of deportation and family separation hangs over the heads of undocumented migrants, causing daily anxiety.
Take Jane, for example, an undocumented immigrant living in Canada for six years. She dreams of obtaining permanent residency status to secure a good job, fair treatment, and the chance to reunite with her family.
“A fair job where you won’t be discriminated, where you earn decent wages, where you are free to go wherever you want, to reunite with your families. Without status, you can’t do anything in this country.”
As of now, the government has not committed to implementing the proposed permanent residency pathway.
The government has stated that any new policies regarding this matter will be made public in due time, leaving the outcome uncertain.
“We cannot speculate on future policies. All new policies will be announced publicly.”A spokesperson said in an email to CBC News.
The protests by migrants in Canada highlight the urgent need for reform in the country’s immigration system. The demand for a new, all-encompassing permanent residency pathway aims to provide stability, fair treatment, and opportunities for a better future for all migrants, regardless of their current status.
The situation continues to evolve, with the government’s response closely watched by Canadians. Stay tuned for updates on this critical issue that affects the lives of many in Canada.