Today we exposed a 104% increase in deportations of undocumented people over the last two years following Prime Minister Trudeau’s promise of regularization which would grant permanent resident status to undocumented people.
We released this information to pressure Prime Minister Trudeau to honour his commitment to ensure permanent resident status for all. We have received multiple assurances from Immigration Ministers that a regularization program is coming. Ripping people away from their communities today who would be regularized tomorrow is absurd and unfair.
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Then take two more actions!
- Send a handwritten letter to PM Trudeau: www.MigrantRights.ca/Letters
- Join an action in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Fredericton or Whitehorse or organize an action in your community between December 16 and 18, 2023: www.MigrantRights.ca/Dec
Together, we have been able to stop countless deportations, and we are continuing to fight for a regularization program so that not a single one of us are torn apart from our homes and loved ones here.
But the numbers are alarming. We found that:
- Canada deported 7,032 people in just the first half of 2023, nearly double the deportations in either 2021 or 2022.
- Deportations surged by 104% in the first quarter of this year compared to the average of the first-quarter deportations over the previous two years.
- 39 people were deported every day in the first half of 2023, compared to an average of 21 people per day in 2021.
- These are just the number of “accompanied” deportations, many other people are coerced to self-deport.
- Canada Border Services Agency receives at least a staggering $46 million per year in public money for deportations – which averages out to $4,750 to deport one person. In contrast, providing settlement and integration services for a permanent resident cost a lot less, approximately $3,900.
One of the thousands of people deported is Rajan Gupta, a refugee from India who lived and worked in Montreal for four years. He was a volunteer with the Immigrant Workers Centre, and created theater performances to educate workers about their rights before he was deported in November.
He said, “During my stay in Canada, I followed all the rules and regulations and I had full faith in the Trudeau government that they would fulfill their promise of regularizing all immigrants but they failed to deliver their promise. Now in India, I can’t go back to my house due to life threats. I am living at an undisclosed place away from my city to save my life along with my sister. I have spent four years of my life working in Canada. Now in India, I have no money or income source and also unable to work outside due to life risks.”
We started looking for this data because we have been seeing increased enforcement visits, raids, coercion and removals across the country this year. This has created fear and despair in many communities as people anxiously await decisions on their own files and for their loved ones. Increasing deportations while promising regularization makes no sense.
Most migrant workers, students and refugees in working class jobs are denied permanent residency despite following all the rules and face a dire choice: leave their friends, jobs and communities in Canada and face potential harm or become undocumented, and face exploitation and live in perpetual fear of deportation.
Right now there are hundreds of thousands of undocumented people fighting for regularization. This includes Tareq Abuznaid is a 19 year old Palestinian who has lived in Canada for eight years and is facing deportation to the West Bank. He said,
“It feels horrible and it’s honestly heartbreaking that Canada wants to deport me back to a country that is being the victim of an active genocide. Israel doesn’t recognize me as a citizen, and doesn’t even want me on “their land”. It’s so disgusting and shameful that after all we’ve been through, and after all we’ve given, they’re just willing to throw me and my family out into a death sentence. And I know we’re not the only victims of this. I demand that Justin Trudeau should stop all deportations and keep his promise to give permanent residency to all migrant and undocumented people.”
Join us in speaking up today to demand an end to deportation and full and permanent immigration status for all.