CANADA, June 16, 2021 — Migrants, including refugees, care workers, farm workers, undocumented people and international students, are organizing rallies and celebrations in Vancouver, Toronto, Sudbury, Winnipeg and online on June 20th – World Refugee Day & Fathers’ Day – to call for full immigration status for all and family unity. COVID-19 has caused a human rights catastrophe for migrants, which has been exacerbated by government inaction. At least 13 farmworkers have died already in 2021, migrant care workers continue to face abuse, job loss and family separation, and undocumented people remain excluded from all rights and essential supports, including vaccines in many places. Over 1.6 million people in Canada are without permanent resident status and therefore don’t have equal rights nor the power to exercise those rights they do have. Many are separated from their families. Canada accepted approximately 25,000 refugees in 2020, a 50% reduction from the previous year. Existing ‘pathways’ and temporary programs continue to deny permanent status to the majority of migrants in Canada.
Details of actions
TORONTO: June 20, 2021, 1pm EST, 74 Victoria Street (Immigration and Refugee Board). Organized by Migrant Rights Network – Ontario. Media contact: Rajean Hoilett, firstname.lastname@example.org, 289-923-3534
VANCOUVER: June 20, 2021, 10am PST, CBC Plaza (across from Immigration Enforcement offices). Organized by BC Migrants. Media contact: Julie Diesta, Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights (CDWCR), 778-881-8345, email@example.com; Byron Cruz, Sanctuary Health Collective Vancouver, (604)3157725, firstname.lastname@example.org
SUDBURY: June 20, 2021, 1pm EST, MP Marc Serrée Constituency office. 2914 Hwy 69 N, Unit 1, Val Caron. Organized by Sudbury Workers Education and Advocacy Centre (SWEAC). Media contact: deMarie Bah Jean, email@example.com, 647-718-3464.
WINNIPEG: June 20, 2021, 4pm, Drive-by rally starting at the Legislative Grounds, 450 Broadway.
- At least 1 in 23 people in Canada are migrants with temporary status and without full rights.
- Migrants include people on various study, work or humanitarian permits, or without documentation at all.
- Many migrants are excluded from healthcare, income support, and basic workplace protections. Many are separated from their families.
- COVID-19 has shown that migrants cannot fully protect themselves because they cannot afford to lose their jobs and because speaking out about unsafe work, exploitation and poor housing conditions can result in deportation.
- Canada has shut its doors to refugees during COVID-19. Only 18,500 people were able to apply in 2020 because of border closures, less than a third of the previous year’s total of 58,378 applications. The situation is worse in 2021, with only 2,245 people able to apply in the first three months of this year.
- Despite promises to release immigration detainees, Canada jailed about half of all immigration detainees in provincial jails, up from about a fifth of detainees prior to the pandemic.
- Over 400 organizations, and tens of thousands of people have joined Migrant Rights Network’s call for full and permanent immigration status for all migrants: https://migrantrights.ca/status-for-all/.