Hundreds of staff neglected of upcoming everlasting residency plan: Migrants Rights Community

2021-05-05 04:12:00

Hundreds of migrants and important staff might be neglected of the federal authorities’s upcoming plan to offer 90,000 staff everlasting residency, in keeping with the advocacy group, the Migrant Rights Community.

“Everlasting resident standing for all is a matter of life and demise. It’s the mechanism by means of which migrants can shield themselves, and it’s important for a free and equal society,” Syed Hussan, Migrant Rights Community secretariat, mentioned throughout a digital press convention on Tuesday.

Hussan, additionally the chief director of Migrant Staff Alliance for Change, mentioned six migrant farm staff have died this yr, and a minimum of six worldwide college students have dedicated suicide on account of monetary and immigration pressures. And he confused all of them want extra protections.

The Migrant Rights Community’s report entitled “Exclusion Disappointment, Chaos and Exploitation” is important of the federal authorities’s upcoming plan to offer a pathway to everlasting residency — on a first-come-first-served foundation — to greater than 90,000 low-skilled, non permanent staff.

However the Migrant Rights Community, one in all Canada’s largest migrant-led coalitions, mentioned that is insufficient for the estimated 461,470 eligible migrants.

“Throughout this pandemic, thousands and thousands of individuals with out standing have risked their lives to serve you and maintain the Canadian financial system rolling,” in keeping with Samira, who’s been residing along with her mom in Montreal for eight years and shared her story within the report.

Samira is ineligible for this program as a result of she’s undocumented. Like some on the presser or quoted within the report, her final title was withheld out of worry of reprisal.

“Why does the federal government not put in place a regularization program for everybody? It is revolting how all these new legal guidelines ignore us — like we did not exist. We’re right here and we are going to proceed to battle.”

Hussan echoed this and referred to as for full and everlasting immigration standing for all.

“We don’t want small, one-off, exclusionary pilot packages, we want an overhaul of the immigration system so that each resident within the nation has the identical immigration standing and subsequently the identical entry to labour rights, healthcare, and different important providers.”

However the workplace of Marco Mendicino, Canada’s minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, pushed again.

“The brand new pathway to everlasting residency for important staff and worldwide graduates is among the many most inclusive and modern packages ever launched by IRCC,” press secretary Alexander Cohen mentioned in an e mail to “Its dimension, velocity and scope are unprecedented.”

“From bricklayers to bus drivers to custodians, the vary of eligible occupations has by no means been extra inclusive,” he mentioned.


The federal government program was introduced final month and is about to launch this Thursday, with 20,000 slots open for non permanent staff in well being care, 30,000 for non permanent staff in different chosen important fields, and 40,000 for worldwide college students who’ve graduated in Canada.

Purposes might be open till November, with the federal government saying it might be open to adjustments because the rollout goes on.

However based mostly on the restrictions, the Migrant Rights Community’s report claimed that roughly 1.18 million undocumented residents, refugees, present worldwide college students, and migrants in Quebec don’t qualify in any respect.

These in Quebec can not apply except they intend on transferring out of the province — as soon as they acquire everlasting residency standing. The reason being due to the Canada-Quebec Accord, a authorities supply who spoke on background mentioned. The accord, signed in 1991, permits Quebec higher leeway and energy in weighing on points and selections pertaining to immigrants and refugees wishing to reside there.

However the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has publically acknowledged they’re very open to re-visiting this could the Quebec authorities select.

Cohen famous that for some refugees who don’t qualify for this program, there may be one other.

“Minister Mendicino additionally lately launched the Guardian Angels program. This floor breaking program was created particularly to supply a pathway for undocumented asylum seekers who’ve contributed a lot to Canada’s struggle towards COVID-19 in our hospitals and long-term care houses,” mentioned Cohen.

Syed Hussan, Executive Director of Migrant Workers

Individuals participate in an indication outdoors Quebec Premier Francois Legault’s workplace in Montreal, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, the place they referred to as on the federal government to offer everlasting residency standing to all migrant staff and asylum seekers.The COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the globe. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes


To place collectively the Migrant Rights Community report, the group examined 3,000 responses from undocumented staff and migrant staff and located many mentioned they weren’t eligible. They added they neither have the time to take work off to review or take the check, nor have they got the sources required to assemble paperwork for his or her functions.

This system requires passing a language check within the utility however, in keeping with the report, roughly 45 per cent of migrant staff and just below half of the respondents who have been worldwide graduates mentioned they haven’t handed or taken the check.

Nonetheless, candidates can submit language check outcomes from the final two years. However as for the language check requirement itself, a authorities supply who spoke on background mentioned it’s in place as a result of it’s a method to make sure that staff will have the ability to take part within the broader society, after they acquire everlasting residency standing.

However Hussan estimates that when it got here to complete prices concerned, staff may very well be upwards of $2,000, if you embrace the price of a language check, potential lawyer charges, and consulting immigration specialists to make sure their utility stands a superb likelihood.

He mentioned this value is just too excessive, particularly for low-paid staff for which English or French isn’t their first language.


A kind of individuals who will possible be neglected is Gary, a Mexican migrant employee who’s been working within the nation since 2013.

“Many people have taught ourselves English to get by whereas working in Canada however can not write or learn it. I’m excluded from the federal government’s everlasting residency program as a result of I can not go the English check,” Gary, a hen catcher in Ontario, mentioned throughout the press convention.

“That’s not honest – we’ve got constructed lives right here, and we’ve got missed out on our lives with our households,” he mentioned.

Scotlynn Group

Lisa, a spa employee in Toronto, mentioned she too could be unable to go an English check and mentioned her job as a intercourse employee means she doesn’t qualify underneath the principles, both.

“I am no totally different from Canadian, I contribute rather a lot to the society does. That is why each migrant intercourse employee and therapeutic massage parlor staff deserve standing,” she mentioned.

Gary famous that he feels extraordinarily susceptible for one more cause.

“We can not rise up for our rights as a result of the employers all the time threaten us saying they gained’t renew our contracts or will deport us,” he mentioned, echoing what advocates say is occurring to many others all through the pandemic.

Additionally sharing that worry is Abdoul, who got here to Canada on a pupil visa in 2015, however when it expired he grew to become an undocumented employee and his standing means he’s unable to use, both.

“It isn’t too late for the federal government to repair this. It isn’t too late for the federal government to repair this. It isn’t too late to make a program that may be inclusive to everybody no matter their state of affairs,” mentioned Abdoul.

In the meantime, college students really feel neglected as a result of they haven’t graduated but or as a result of their faculty allow is expiring, corresponding to migrant pupil Aydolu, who’s been finding out in Canada since 2019 and has been doing important work throughout the pandemic.

“It’s been powerful instances and my bodily and psychological well being have been affected badly,” the brand new Toronto graduate mentioned. She has been struggling to make ends meet and needs this system was extra inclusive.


Roughly one in 4 present important staff surveyed mentioned they didn’t meet the job requirement of getting labored 12 out of the earlier 36 months. Some mentioned they didn’t qualify as a result of a few of their work expertise came about in between work or pupil permits and don’t rely in direction of the requirement.

Then, one other 13 per cent of these surveyed mentioned they didn’t have legitimate work authorization. That is largely as a result of non permanent overseas staff who misplaced their jobs throughout the pandemic aren’t legally allowed to work elsewhere resulting from employer-restricted work permits.

Cherrian Snagg, a migrant care employee, mentioned she was fired when she bought sick throughout COVID-19 and was in dire straits as a result of her residence, revenue, well being care and talent to remain within the nation have been tied to her employer.

“With out everlasting residency standing, you might be pushed round – by employers and by the federal government. That is discrimination and exploitation,” she mentioned throughout a pre-recorded video throughout the presser.

Caregiver holding the hand of a child

“I struggled to discover a new employer to sponsor me, so I may get the final three months of labor I wanted to fulfill the 24-month work requirement underneath the House Little one Care Supplier Pilot and have the ability to apply for everlasting residency,” Snagg mentioned.

“Simply final week, the cap in that program was reached. One other door has been closed for me and care staff like me. And I can’t qualify for this new program and not using a job,” Snagg added, noting her instant focus is getting a job to fulfill her employer-restricted allow.

The Migrant Rights Community report famous many unemployed important staff who have been laid off resulting from COVID-19 or fled unsafe working circumstances at the moment are scrambling to take any job — regardless of the pay — simply to qualify for the brand new program.

And worse nonetheless, those that left unhealthy employers say they’ve been compelled to return to them. It ought to be famous that these fleeing abuse or unsafe working circumstances; or sure college students could be eligible for this newest program in the event that they apply for and efficiently acquire an Open Work Allow.

Edited by producer Phil Hahn.

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