Migrant Rights Network
Thousands to mark Anti-Racism day across Canada calling for equal rights and permanent resident status for migrants and refugees
Canada – Thousands of migrants and supporters will mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in Edmonton, Montreal, Sudbury, Toronto, Vancouver and Niagara Falls on March 18 and 19 to call on Prime Minister Trudeau to ensure permanent resident status for all migrants and refugees, including undocumented people, as he promised in December 2021. Over 1.7 million migrants grow food, take care of children, the sick and the elderly, and are essential to our communities but are denied rights available to everyone else because they don’t have permanent resident status. Mostly in low wage essential jobs, migrants are also the hardest-hit by the affordability crisis. An uncapped regularization program that grants permanent resident status (not temporary permits) to all undocumented people could lift half a million people out of poverty; give them the tools to protect themselves against abuse; ensure gender justice; unite families and correct a historic wrong. With only a few weeks left till Parliament rises for the summer, any delay or an exclusionary program will continue the indefinite and ongoing exploitation of hundreds of thousands of our neighbours and friends. These actions are taking place in the lead-up to President Biden’s trip to Canada where refugees are on the agenda.
Migrant Rights Network actions across Canada
EDMONTON – March 19, 2023, 1pm. Rally at Alberta Legislature Grounds.
Media contact: Marco Luciano, 780-966-5908, Migrante Alberta
MONTREAL – Outside Refugee Board at Guy-Favreau Complex, 200 René Lévesque West.
> March 18, 8pm: Out of the Shadows: Testimonies, projections, lights, music, solidarity serving for unhoused community.
> March 19, 9am: Press Point: We are not a Crisis, We are in a Crisis.
Media contact: 514 222 0205, Solidarity Across Borders
NIAGARA – March 19, 2023, 2pm. Rally at Niagara Falls City Hall.
Media contact: Kit Andres, 905-324-2840, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change
SUDBURY – March 18, 2023, 2:30pm, Main Public Library, 74 MacKenzie Street.
Media contact: Scott Florence, 705-470-3323, Sudbury Workers Education and Advocacy Centre
TORONTO – March 19, 2023, 2pm. Rally at Christie Pits Park, march to Deputy PM Freeland’s constituency office.
Media contact: Sarom Rho, 416-887-8315, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change
VANCOUVER – March 19, 2023, 12pm. Rally at CBC Plaza.
Media contact: Chris Sorio, 416-828-0441, Migrante BC
- Migrant Rights Network’s proposal for a comprehensive regularization program that is uncapped, will grant permanent resident status (not temporary permits) and will not exclude anyone: https://migrantrights.ca/resources/regularization-in-canada/
- Every migrant-led organization in Canada, as well as over 500 civil society, labour and environmental organizations, support this proposal and are calling for full and permanent immigration status for all migrants in the country, as well as permanent resident status for all on arrival in future.
- Comprehensive regularization will address a historic wrong; improve working conditions by giving migrants the power to protect themselves; guarantee public health; and add at least $1.1 billion dollars to the public purse through contributions by employers who currently don’t pay taxes.
- Over 1.2 million temporary permits were issued in Canada in 2022 including 136,350 temporary foreign work permits; 472,070 international mobility program work permits; 551,405 study permits and 60,158 referred refugee claimants. Those in low-waged work in particular have no access to permanent residency so eventually they are forced to either leave or stay in the country undocumented. As a result, there are over 500,000 undocumented people in the country, for a total of 1.7 million migrants.
- Lack of permanent resident status for low-waged migrants makes it difficult, and often impossible for them to speak up for their rights at work or access services, including the few services they are eligible for, because of a well-founded fear of reprisals, termination, eviction and deportation. They cannot unite with their families, and undocumented people live in daily fear of detention and deportation.
- Over 26,000 people have sent messages to Cabinet in support of permanent resident status for all: www.StatusforAll.ca
- 39,171 refugee claimants crossed into Quebec on foot from the US via Roxham Road in 2022. That’s about 3% of the 1.2 million temporary residents who came into Canada the same year; or 0.09% of Canada’s total population. As soon as they enter Canada, they are registered, and apply for refugee status. A hearing is scheduled where a Board Member (not a judge or a lawyer) decides whether to grant them refugee status. 60% of the asylum seekers who crossed via Roxham Road and have had a hearing were granted refugee status. That is the exact same acceptance rate as applicants who come through other ways.
Cross-Country Media Contact
Syed Hussan, Migrant Rights Network Secretariat