June 20 is World Refugee Day. It was so
designated by the United Nations in 2001 to
commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
In Canada, the Migrant Rights Network of
migrant advocacy organizations and Migrante
Canada are marking this occasion to once again
give voice to Canadians' demand for Status for All!
-- for refugees, students, migrant workers and
The call for
full and permanent immigration status is a
call for an end to a system of deadly
racialized exclusion from rights, protections
and dignity, Migrante Canada points out.
Referring to the colonial relations Canada
maintains with the Indigenous peoples and the
crime of genocide committed against
them, Migrante writes, amongst other things:
"While Canada was created from theft of land,
it now imposes immigration rules to deny
rights to us. Primarily racialized and working
class migrants are excluded from protections
and benefits so that our work can be devalued
for the profit of the super rich.
"This week also marks one year since the
deaths of Bonifacio Eugenio Romero and Rogelio
Muñoz Santos. Virtually nothing has been done
to ensure no more migrant farm workers die
preventable deaths. Already in 2021, at least
nine farm workers have died, six of them in
federally regulated quarantine.
"The call for full and permanent immigration
status is a call for an end to a system of
deadly racialized exclusion from rights,
protections and dignity. As migrants, we must
demand an end to colonial violence within
Canada and throw our support behind struggles
for Indigenous rights and liberation.
"We are not simply asking for rights under
Canadian laws based on colonialism -- we must
challenge the violent and unfair nature of
this whole system. We must join together and
demand that Canadian laws and policies do not
force more people out of their homes anywhere.
"That is why on June 20th -- World Refugee
Day and Father's Day -- we will take action
for full and permanent immigration status for
"Join or organize an action on June 20th near
"Together, we will win!"
Join in actions taking place across the
country on June 20. Visit the website of the
organizers to find out about and support
events in your area: MigrantRights.ca.
This article was published in
June 18, 2021 - No. 58