CANADA, April 16, 2020 – Undocumented and migrant workers from across Canada and Mexico are calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to fill the gaps that exclude them from Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Essential agricultural and domestic workers, cleaners, construction workers, small business owners, students, and parents are calling for CERB to be made available to those without valid Social Insurance Numbers. At least 1 in 22 people in Canada (over 1.8 million people) are migrants.
- WHAT: Online Press Conference for Income Supports for All Essential Workers
- WHEN: TODAY: 1pm EST, 10am PST, 2pm AST, Thursday, April 16, 2020
- WHERE: Registration required: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_fnHz8altRbKs9dYQIcQFTA
- WHO: Laura Lopez (Undocumented mother of 2, Vancouver – Member: Sanctuary Health); Cesar F (Undocumented construction worker, expectant father, Toronto); Alina Przybyl (Migrant student with an expired SIN, Toronto – Member: Migrant Students United ); Gustavo Antonio (Migrant farmworker stranded in Mexico – Member: RAMA); Liliana Trejo (Undocumented temp agency worker, single mother, Montreal – Member: Immigrant Workers Centre); Lisa Cheung (Undocumented massage parlour worker, Toronto – Member: Butterfly); Danilo Dee (Former Temporary Foreign Worker, father of 2, Edmonton – Member: Migrante Alberta); Julie Diesta (Member – Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights); Syed Hussan (Executive Director, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change).
Media Contact: Syed Hussan, 416 453 3632, firstname.lastname@example.org
- In order to flatten the curve, everyone needs to follow public health directives. But without income, undocumented and migrant workers are some of the most at risk for losing housing, access to food and healthcare.
- Over half a million people in Canada are undocumented, without Social Insurance Numbers (SIN). Many have lost income during COVID-19 and are suffering.
- There are 1.3 million study and work permit holders, and refugee claimants in Canada. Their SIN begins with ‘9’ and expires along with their immigration permits. To renew a SIN, immigration permits must be renewed. COVID-19 has created enormous delays in permit processing, and hundreds of thousands of workers are being left without valid permits and SINs.
- Migrants and undocumented people are over-represented in essential industries. They work in agriculture, cleaning, in long term care facilities, grocery stores, restaurants, warehouses, domestic work and as truck drivers and delivery workers.
- Migrant and undocumented workers pay retail tax on purchases, and property taxes through rent. Most pay income tax, EI and CPP.
- 42.9% of non-permanent residents are low-income (as compared to 12.5% of non-immigrants, and 17.9% of immigrants). They are therefore extremely vulnerable to economic crises – a single missed paycheque causes irreversible harm to health, safety, and future life possibilities.
- Like other low-wage workers, migrant and undocumented workers spend the majority of their income on rent, basic necessities, food and transportation. As such, they play a critical role in sustaining and growing local economies. When income disappears for the poorest, the effects are amplified across the entire economy.
- The Migrant Rights Network continues to call for healthcare for all, enhanced worker protections, open work permits and permanent resident status for all, an end to detentions and deportations, expanded community supports for migrants, and justice for Indigenous and racialized people around the world. See our full petition: www.MigrantRights.ca/COVID19. These demands have been endorsed by Canadian Labour Congress, Canadian Federation of Students, 350 Canada and more.
Migrant Rights Network is Canada’s Migrant Coalition, and includes Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network), Caregivers’ Action Centre, Centre des travailleuses et travailleurs immigrants, Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto, Collaborative Network to End Exploitation, Cooper Institute and the Prince Edward Island Action Team for Migrant Workers’ Rights, Durham Region Migrant Solidarity Network, FCJ Refugee House, Fuerza Migrante Vancouver, GABRIELA Ontario, IAVGO Community Legal Clinic, Income Security Advocacy Centre, Migrant Students United, Migrant Worker Solidarity Network – Manitoba, Migrant Workers Alliance – Niagara, Ontario, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, Migrante (Alberta, BC, Canada, Manitoba, Ontario), No One Is Illegal (Toronto, Halifax, London, Vancouver), Migrant Resource Centre Canada, OCASI – Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, OHIP For All, PCLS Community Legal Clinic, Radical Action with Migrants in Agriculture (RAMA), Okanagan region, BC, Sanctuary Health, Solidarity Across Borders, South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, UFCW Canada, UNIFOR, Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights, Workers Action Centre and Workers United