Migrants call on Prime Minister Trudeau to unite families, welcome



TORONTO, June 20, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Migrants including refugees, social workers, farm workers, undocumented migrants and international students hold rallies and celebrations in Vancouver, Toronto, Sudbury, Winnipeg and online today – World Refugee Day and Father’s Day – to apply for full immigration status for all and family reunification.

COVID-19 has exposed long-standing problems with the immigration system with deadly consequences. 1 in 23 people in the country do not have permanent resident status and are therefore denied the same rights and protections. Despite repeated calls and promises of immediate action, the federal government continues to respond to this crisis with partial, fragmentary and inadequate policies that exclude most migrants, including refugees, undocumented migrants and migrants in the essential sectors.

“Despite rumors that it is a ‘welcoming’ country and keen to improve the rights of migrant workers, Canada only accepted 25,000 refugees in 2020, a reduction of 50% from the previous year. ‘last year. Existing ‘pathways’ and new temporary programs recently announced by the government continue to deny permanent status to the majority of migrants, especially undocumented migrants, ”says Sarom Rho, organizer of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change in Toronto. “We are fed up with Prime Minister Trudeau’s broken promises – migrants need full and permanent immigration status for all in order to be able to protect themselves.”

“Farm workers continue to be applauded for the essential work they do, but this government continues to exclude them from all the rights and protections they need and deserve. At least 13 farm workers have already died in 2021, the majority of them in federally regulated quarantine, and the government has done nothing to prevent these preventable deaths. Families are torn apart and the death toll is rising – when will the government act? Says Byron Cruz of Sanctuary Health in Vancouver.

“Migrant social workers continue to experience abuse, job loss and years of waiting for their PR requests to be answered,” says Julie Diesta of the Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights. “Government ‘bridging’ programs, with their unfair language, education and work demands, are traps that force social workers to stay with exploitative employers and leave them in limbo, separated from their families, for years. We’re done waiting – we need full and permanent immigration status for all migrants now. ”

Details of actions

National media contact: Syed Hussan, [email protected], 416-453-3632.

TORONTO: June 20, 2021, 1 p.m. EST, 74 Victoria Street (Immigration and Refugee Board). Organized by Migrant Rights Network – Ontario.
Media contact: Rajean Hoilett, [email protected], 289-923-3534

VANCOUVER: June 20, 2021, 10:00 a.m. PST, CBC Plaza (across from Immigration Enforcement offices). Organized by BC Migrants.
Media contact: Julie Diesta, Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights (CDWCR), 778-881-8345, [email protected]; Byron Cruz, Sanctuary Health Collective Vancouver, 604-315-7725, [email protected]

SUDBURY: June 20, 2021, 1 p.m. EST, Constituency Office of MP Marc Serrée. 2914, highway 69 North, unit 1, Val Caron. Organized by the Sudbury Workers Education and Advocacy Center (SWEAC).
Press contact: deMarie Bah Jean, [email protected], 647-718-3464.

WINNIPEG: June 20, 2021, 4:00 p.m., drive-through rally from Legislative Park, 450 Broadway.


  • At least 1 in 23 people in Canada is a migrant with temporary status and without full rights.
  • Migrants include people with various study, work or humanitarian permits, or without any documentation.
  • Many migrants are excluded from healthcare, income support and basic workplace protections. Many are separated from their families.
  • COVID-19 has shown that migrants cannot fully protect themselves because they cannot afford to lose their jobs and because talking about dangerous work, exploitation and poor housing conditions can lead to deportation.
  • Canada closed its doors to refugees during COVID-19. Only 18,500 people were able to apply in 2020 due to border closures, less than a third of the total of 58,378 applications from the previous year. The situation is worse in 2021, with only 2,245 people able to apply in the first three months of this year.
  • Canada jailed about half of all immigration detainees in maximum security provincial prisons during COVID-19, up from about a fifth of detainees before the pandemic.
  • The newly announced TR to PR program denies unemployed migrants, who cannot take English exams and have no temporary status, thus excluding the majority: https://migrantrights.ca/disappointmentchaosreportpr/
  • Over 400 organizations and tens of thousands of people have joined Migrant Rights Network’s call for full and permanent immigration status for all migrants: https://migrantrights.ca/status-for-all/.


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