This morning, students, teachers and migrants will rally at an elementary school in New Westminster, BC, where immigration enforcement stalked and arrested an undocumented mother after she dropped her daughter there.
Today is International Migrants Day, and this action shines a light on the injustices here in Canada and the courage and resilience of migrants.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants do not have basic rights to education, healthcare and labour protections. For many of us, accessing the few rights we do have can mean detention and deportation.
Yet despite this injustice, every morning, we wake up and go to school, go to work, care for our loved ones, and are active in our communities.
And so on this International Migrants Day, we reiterate our commitment to survive and thrive, no matter what the odds.
PM Trudeau just released a letter outlining his priorities for the immigration system. These priorities include the possibility of more access to permanent residency for low-wage and racialized migrants, and a continued expansion of temporariness and precariousness for many.
We are the ones that know what changes are needed. Promises have been made and broken before, so in 2022, Migrant Rights Network members will continue to organize migrants, and unite with allies to win fairness, equal rights and justice for all. We will win Status for All!
When migrants organize, and join with our supporters, we win. In 2021:
- Migrants fought for safe and dignified access to vaccines, and province by province together we changed the rules that were shutting us out;
- Many migrant farm workers died in quarantine, and faced on-going violations of their rights at work, but they spoke up, reminding us that they feed us and demanding decent housing, equal rights, and justice. Hear from farm workers directly here;
- Migrant care workers organized against the backlog in processing PR applications and won a commitment to have it cleared;
- Immigration detainees organized hunger strikes and fought for their release;
- Migrant student workers won a one-time renewal to the work permit program and stopped the deportation of 52,000 people;
- Because migrants organized, the government created a temporary program to give 90,000 workers in some low-wage sectors access to permanent residency, recognizing that only PR can give migrants access to equal rights. But still this policy leaves too many people out;
- On June 20th, in actions across the country, we demanded families unity and all migrants be welcomed;
- In July, a thousand of us marched through Ottawa to the Prime Minister’s office and Parliament Hill to insist that #StatusForAll is necessary, urgent, and possible;
- In the lead up to the September federal election, migrants spoke to voters to explain why it was so important to vote for #StatusForAll;
- When the floods displaced migrant farmworkers in BC, hundreds of you donated thousands of dollars to support them;
- And to close out the year, migrants visited MP offices across the country in December to tell the new Trudeau government that we live here and the crisis we are facing demands action now.
Our demand for full and permanent immigration status for all is not just about accessing rights here in Canada – it is about challenging the idea that people can be exploited and pitted against each other. It is a call for unity, here and everywhere.
We have done so much together. And in 2022, we must do more. Join us.