Toronto — Caregiver and migrant rights organizations are calling on Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen to immediately repeal Section 38(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act following a report by the Parliamentary Citizenship and Immigration Committee’s report which called for the repeal. The report also proposed interim measures, but migrant rights organizations insist that interim measures would uphold a fundamentally discriminatory system. More than a thousand people and organizations have signed an Open Letter in support of these demands.
“Denying permanent residency to entire families was never fair or just, thousands of people have suffered under this law already and hundreds of families are waiting to be reunited, there is no time for delay, it is time to repeal Section 38(1)(c)” says Anna Malla of the Caregivers Action Centre. “Caregivers and Disabled people cannot wait for interim measures, the Liberal government must do the right thing, end medical inadmissibility immediately as an interim step to permanent status on arrival.”
The Parliamentary Committee’s report titled, Building an Inclusive Canada: Bringing the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in Step with Modern Values was released following consultations in November. Migrant rights and disability justice groups insist that Disablism was never acceptable, and ending discriminatory laws is not a ‘modern value’.
Section 38(1)(c) reads, “A foreign national is inadmissible on health grounds if their health condition is expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services,” in effect denying an entire family permanent status if any member of the family is sick or disabled. This discriminatory system has been in place since 2002, and an average of 1,000 people, and their families are rejected each year.