Migrants Rally Across Canada Calling for Expansion of Regularization Program to All

TORONTO, Aug. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Migrants, refugees, undocumented people, workers and students are taking to the streets on August 23rd to call for full and permanent immigration status for all. Parliament may be prorogued but migrants are still in crisis. Actions in ten cities and five provinces are 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 is coordinated by the Migrant Rights Network, Canada’s migrant justice coalition. The Migrant Rights Network is calling on all political parties to ensure a plan for regularization is announced in the upcoming speech from the throne.

August 23, 2020 Actions & Media Contacts

  • NATIONAL CONTACT: Karen Cocq, Migrant Rights Network – 647-970-8464 [EN/FR]
  • TORONTO: 2:15pm. Immigration and Refugee Board and CBSA Offices (74 Victoria Street). Contact: Sarom Rho, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change – 647-858-2854
  • MONTREAL: Contact: Solidarity Across Borders – 514 222 0205
    • Montréal-Nord: 2pm, Henri Bourassa metro (in front of the IGA)
    • Parc Ex: 2pm, Parc metro
    • Côte-des-neiges: 2pm, Plamondon metro (Van Horne exit)
    • Downtown: 2pm, Berri UQAM (Émilie Gamelin exit)
  • NIAGARA: 1pm, Niagara Detention Centre (1355 Uppers Lane). Contact: Kit Andres, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change – 905-324-2840.
  • VANCOUVER: 3pm, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (877 Expo Blvd). Contact: Nayeli Jimenez – 778-874-4977.
  • REGINA: 1pm, MP Michael Kram Office (Quance St 2723 E). Contact: Gurjinder Singh Lehal – pres@ursu.ca or 431-997-9949
  • SHERBROOKE: 2pm, Bureau d’Élisabeth Brière, députée fédérale de Sherbrooke (1650 Rue King Ouest). Contact: Ensemble avec les personnes migrantes contre le racisme – collectifensemble.sherbrooke@gmail.com
  • WINDSOR: 3pm, Immigration and Refugee and CBSA Offices (1250 Walker Rd). 
  • OTTAWA: 2pm, Immigration and Refugee Board (344 Slater Street). Contact: Erin Leigh, Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW) – 613-858-5136
  • HALIFAX: Multiple locations. Contact: No one is illegal – Halifax/K’jipuktuk – noii.hfx@gmail.com
  • OKANAGAN: Multiple locations. Contact: RAMA – RamaOkanagan@gmail.com

More actions are being updated, see www.MigrantRights.ca/August23 for the latest.

BACKGROUND

  • 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, 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/

Syed Hussan
Executive Director
T: 1-855-567-4722 ext. 700
E: hussan@migrantworkersalliance.org

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