Holiday Action: Migrants Send Heartfelt Handwritten Letters Urging Trudeau to Fulfill Equality Promise Without Delay.
December 17, Fredericton- During this holiday season, hundreds of migrants, including children, have penned heartfelt holiday letters, sharing their experiences of living without permanent resident status. These letters will be mailed to Prime Minister Trudeau on the weekend of International Migrants Day, two years since he first promised a regularization program. Coordinated actions by Migrant Rights Network – Canada’s largest coalition of migrant-led organizations – in Fredericton, Montreal, Toronto, St Catharines, Welland, and Vancouver will demand that Prime Minister Trudeau ensure permanent resident status for ALL undocumented people, migrant students, and workers, to achieve true equality.
Minister Marc Miller reiterated the promise of regularization in the Globe and Mail on December 14, 2023. However, Prime Minister Trudeau has overseen 21,000 deportations, betraying his own words, since his commitment to regularization on December 16, 2021. Deportations must stop today to be coherent with the announcement that regularization is on its way.
WHEN: December 17, at 11 am.
WHERE: MP Jenica Atwin’s office, 154 Main St.
VISUALS: Signs, Music, and Migrant Workers.
The hand-written letters draw attention to the poverty, fear, exploitation, and exclusion experienced by nearly 2 million migrants in the country who are denied permanent resident status. Click here for a selection of just a few of the hundreds of letters calling for permanent resident status for all. Excerpts include:
“I will be more happier if my parents get their status. It’s Christmas, the time of giving.”
“Without permanent resident status, I am afraid to get sick because I don’t have a healthcard.”
“Our life ended when we lost our status, and we request you to listen to us, and give us status so that we can have a life like everyone else.”
“Everyone is going for holidays, including you, to enjoy with your family and loved ones, but there are many immigrants in Canada who don’t have permanent resident status and they gonna miss this time with their family”.
“It’s a lot of stress people go through. Depression is an awful feeling people pass through. I have been here for five years, left my family, my kids. I’m trying to be positive. To be able to get through this is really hard.”
Migrants care for the elderly and children, work in factories, keep our hospitals running, grow food, and build homes. Still, they are excluded from the same rights that others in Canada take for granted because they are denied permanent resident status.
Permanent resident status for all will add billions of dollars to the public purse per year through contributions by employers who currently don’t pay taxes when they hire undocumented people, improve overall health outcomes as hundreds of thousands of people will be able to access primary care and not end up in emergency rooms; and end the downward pressure on wages and working conditions caused by employer exploitation of migrant workers. It will allow migrants to lay down deeper roots, participate more fully in society, and gain labour mobility to fill jobs in industries and regions where workers are needed.
The Migrant Rights Network’s proposal for a comprehensive uncapped regularization program granting permanent resident status without exclusions can be found here. Over 500 civil society, labour, and environmental organizations, alongside all migrant-led organizations in Canada, advocate for full and permanent immigration status for all migrants and immediate permanent resident status for future arrivals.