Over 5,000 people rallied, marched, and met in 13 cities. Many of us braved heavy rain and lightning knowing that our collective action was essential to achieve status for all.
Even with the almost blanket media coverage of a funeral in England, we captured media attention. Dozens of outlets, including radio, TV and print, carried our message of full immigration status for all undocumented people, as well as all other migrant workers, student and families to millions of households.
This action is not a one-off. We must keep moving.
Step 1: Get the news out wider this week
Parliament is back, and our efforts must now kick into high gear. Many politicians have not been around over the summer, and now is the time to get their attention. There are a few ways to do this.
First is to share photos and videos from September 18.
The second is sharing news articles. Nowadays, the more a news story link is clicked, the more it is shown to other readers. So, click each of these links and share as many as you can: Canadian Press, CBC National News Network, Le Devoir, La Presse, CTV Vancouver, CBC Toronto, Radio Canada Vancouver, Omni Filipino – Ottawa.
We have also created a playlist of all the TV coverage here. Watch and listen to hear migrants explain directly what they are facing.
Step 2: New this week: Understanding the response to M-44
Back in May, Parliament unanimously passed a symbolic motion (M-44) asking Immigration Minister Fraser to share a plan to ensure permanent resident status for workers of all skill levels. Yesterday, the immigration department submitted a 40-page report in response.
This report focuses on possible changes for farmworkers, care workers, migrant students and other migrant workers – but there are no details. It is separate from the regularization program that Minister Fraser is already in the process of developing for undocumented migrants (people who have already lost their status), which is moving ahead more quickly and we must keep up the pressure.
The M-44 report does two things: It re-announces changes already made, and it says that the government is reviewing the immigration system and may potentially make other changes in the future.
The lack of real change is frustrating. At the same time, it is our collective action that has forced the government to review the immigration system and it is up to us to make sure that we win status for all.
If you are a migrant, and are not already part of an organization, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will connect you to others like you.
Step 3: The fight ahead
In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue to share updates about the fight for the rights of temporary migrant workers and students.
Right now we need to continue to fight for permanent residency for half a million undocumented people. Here’s what will happen next:
[A] Government Action: Soon the Minister of Immigration (elected) and the Department of Immigration (the bureaucrats) will write a “Memo to Cabinet” (MC). In it they will propose which and how many undocumented people should be given PR
Our Response: RIGHT NOW: We must sign petitions, make phone calls, and ask organizations to write letters to ensure that there is no delay, and that everyone is included. Educators: Add your name here; Healthcare workers: Add your name here.
[B] Government Action: Once the MC is finalized, it is submitted to one of the Cabinet Sub-Committees for review.
Our Response: Once we know which Cabinet Committee will receive the proposal, we will make sure that those Ministers hear from us.
[C] Government Action: The Cabinet Sub-Committee will send the proposal to the whole Cabinet.
Our Response: We will organize visits, rallies and calls to all members of the Cabinet.
[D] Government Action: Once Cabinet decides, the Immigration Department will create the application forms and other guides.
Our Response: We will keep up the pressure to make sure there is no delay
[E] Government Action: Once the Immigration Department has finalized its plan, the program will finally be announced.
Our Response: We will celebrate, and demand changes if anyone is left out
[F] Government Action: The program will be launched
Our Response: We will together make sure that all undocumented people can apply while campaigning to expand the program if it is exclusionary.
As you can see, we don’t have timelines listed. We have learned from COVID-19, and the war in Ukraine that when the government wants to move quickly, it will. Our actions will determine how quickly we can win status for all.
We will be announcing specific actions soon.