Support the Demand for Status For All

Permanent Resident Status for Immigrants and Refugees Now!

The government of Canada continues to refuse to do its duty to guarantee the rights of each and every human being in Canada, including over one and a half million immigrants and refugees. Throughout the pandemic migrant workers, including thousands who live under constant threat of deportation, have put their lives on the line to work in long-term care homes and hospitals, in restaurants and meat processing plants, warehouses, farms and industry. In actions from coast to coast migrant workers and people from all walks of life have repeatedly raised the demand that Canada modernize itself and recognize that all human beings have rights and guarantee status for all.

Recently Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada invited over 27,000 migrants to apply for permanent residency through the Express Entry draw on February 13. These draws take place about every two weeks. February 13 was the highest number ever, a 440 per cent increase from the previous draw on January 21.

Migrant Rights Network reports on its website: 

"Canada's Express Entry system assigns points for age, language, education, work experience and more. While the points required for this latest invitation are the lowest ever, migrants in these large numbers were invited to apply for permanent residency in the 'Canadian Experience Class' (CEC). To qualify for CEC, applicants must, among other requirements, have 12 months of high-waged work in Canada in managerial or technical jobs. Migrants in low-waged work are not allowed to apply.

"Farm workers, care workers, those working in food processing, retail, delivery, warehouse, cleaning, construction, and workers in all those other jobs Canadians have come to call 'essential', are deemed 'low-skilled' by the immigration system. 

"Few avenues exist for them to get rights and permanent residence under current rules. The 'pathways to status' for low-waged farm workers and care workers require high language and education scores that effectively shut them out."

In the 2019-2020 year detentions and deportations increased to the highest level since 2015 and, after a period of reduced removals from March to November last year, removals began again at the beginning of December. Migrant Rights Network reports that applications to stay from undocumented migrants are being denied at record high rates at present.

Migrant workers are part of the Canadian working class which does not recognize the categories that the ruling elite has created in an attempt to divide people. This division is used to justify the super-exploitation of those accorded fewer rights, a situation that is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Modern definitions recognize only one humanity and governments at every level have a duty to guarantee the rights of all.

The Migrant Rights Network is appealing to everyone to sign the petition demanding the government grant full and permanent status for all and states: "Clearly the government can easily grant people PR [Permanent Resident status], but chooses to cherry-pick and discriminate instead. The federal government is scrambling to meet its immigration targets by granting status to some, while deporting and denying others. This is a divide and conquer strategy that pits 'deserving' migrants against 'undeserving' migrants. But permanent status is not a gift for the deserving -- it is about equality. It is a means to access healthcare, education, labour protections, family reunification and other basic rights. And all of us deserve the same rights."

Four hundred organizations representing over 8 million members have signed the petition which can be accessed here.

(Photos: WF, CAC)

This article was published in

February 24, 2021 - No. 10

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