Toronto: Migrants, refugees, undocumented people, workers, and students installed a human clock outside Immigration Offices on 74 Victoria Street to call for urgent action for full and permanent immigration status for all.
Migrants are responding to the prorogation of parliament, calling for a regularization plan in the upcoming throne speech.
Simultaneous actions were organized in nine other cities – Montreal, Niagara, Vancouver, Regina, Sherbrooke, Windsor, Halifax, Okanagan, and Ottawa – calling for the expansion of
the newly announced pathway to permanent residency for some refugees in healthcare to include everyone in the country without permanent resident status.
COVID-19 has worsened existing inequalities and with fears of a second wave on the horizon, swift action is needed to ensure migrants are not put in further jeopardy.
The cross-country day of action was coordinated by the Migrant Rights Network, Canada’s migrant justice coalition. The Migrant Rights Network has called on all political parties to ensure a plan for regularization is announced soon.
• At least 1 in 23 people in Canada (over 1.6 million) are non-permanent residents.
• Migrants are on various study, work, or humanitarian permits in Canada, or without documentation at all.
• Many migrants are excluded from universal healthcare, access to emergency income supports, and decent work. Many are separated from their families.
• Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers, refugees, students, and undocumented people have lost their lives and livelihoods in COVID-19.
• Migrants are unable to fully protect themselves during COVID-19 because of lack of emergency support, and because speaking out about unsafe work and housing conditions can result in deportation, homelessness, or not being able to return.
• The federal government announced a “pathway to permanent residency for some asylum claimants working in the healthcare sector during the COVID-19 pandemic” on August 14th. However, COVID-19 does not differentiate between people, neither should the government response.
• Nearly 12,000 people have signed a petition calling for permanent immigration status for all: https://migrantrights.ca/covid19/,
• Migrant Rights Network’s proposal for Status for All is here: https://migrantrights.ca/statusforall/