One of the places where systemic racism is the most apparent in our immigration system is in its treatment of domestic and migrant workers.

It is my firm belief that if you’re good enough to work, you’re good enough to stay.

For caregivers and domestic workers, justice means PR status upon arrival. Domestic workers, who are mostly women of colour from developing nations, are the only class of economic immigrants who are not given PR status upon arrival. Instead, they must endure precarious working conditions with uncertain immigration status and futures as they navigate pilot program after pilot program. As they care for Canadian families, the lack of PR status separates the workers from their own families.

For temporary migrant workers, it is long known that employer specific work permits put them in highly vulnerable situations where abuse and exploitation by employers are rampant.

The Canadian immigration must treat workers with justice and respect. No more abuse of migrant workers! Landed status now!

OPEN LETTER to Immigration Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to address migrant workers’ bad treatment

OPEN LETTER to Immigration Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to address migrant workers’ bad treatment

We urge you to instruct your respective departments to immediately undertake a review of the existing situation on Canadian farms with respect to migrant workers. It is evident from the volume of complaints this 60-day snapshot put together by the Migrant Workers Alliance that there a need for immediate action. We further urge that you undertake to act on the recommendations as outlined in the report.

The living conditions identified by these workers are simply unacceptable and we look forward to your prompt response, detailing the steps being taken by the Government of Canada to ensure migrant workers who grow the food that supports Canadians – and the world – are treated with dignity, respect and to ensure their health and safety.

OPEN LETTER to Immigration Minister on temporary foreign workers’ short-term policy change

OPEN LETTER to Immigration Minister on temporary foreign workers’ short-term policy change

TFWs have faced a number of significant challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is still much uncertainty regarding their status and the implications of the delays in the processing of their work permits.
First, according to the IRCC website, for open work permits for vulnerable workers: "Officers are instructed to process work permit applications on an urgent basis (5 business days from the time the application is received at the local IRCC office responsible for processing the application)." At the same time, the website also states: "However, processing times may be affected by fluctuating volumes of applications received at IRCC”. In reality, I have been informed by numerous advocates that within the past months the response time from IRCC has been on average one month for many who have applied. I am deeply concerned that this is far from the 5 business days as stated on the website. Given the precarious situation of these workers, it would be essential that their cases are processed expeditiously. I am therefore asking that you do everything you can to ensure the applications are indeed processed on an urgent basis - within 5 business days.

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Immigration, Minister of Finance and Minister of Employment to address urgent immigration concerns

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Immigration, Minister of Finance and Minister of Employment to address urgent immigration concerns

I write to you today to follow-up on the numerous concerns I have raised in previous letters to your offices regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic for those engaged in the immigration process. To date, I have yet to receive any reply. As time goes by, the situation for those affected are growing increasingly dire and they deserve answers now. Throughout this pandemic it is essential we take care of the migrant population, as they have done for us.
I am therefore writing with a renewed sense of urgency to seek answers for the following questions.

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Employment and Minister of Immigration on support emergency support for migrant workers and temporary residents

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Minister of Employment and Minister of Immigration on support emergency support for migrant workers and temporary residents

The Covid 19 pandemic has impacted everyone across Canada. I am writing to you today with my concerns about the desperate need for support for migrant workers and temporary residents during this COVID-19 pandemic. While it is welcomed that the government has put in place the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) as income support for eligible individuals including migrant workers; unfortunately, the reality for many in this country is that they s5ll cannot access it. In particular, I would like to flag to your attention the countless migrant workers and temporary residents across the country who are in dire need.
With the current CERB requirements, those applying must have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). This is a problem as many migrants do not have a valid SIN for a variety of reasons. It has come to my attention that the study permit for Alina Przybly, an international student from Toronto expired in January. Notwithstanding the fact that her employer closed the restaurant that she was working at because of the pandemic, due to processing delays at IRCC, she is unable to have her study permit extended. This has caused her SIN to expire. Without a valid SIN number, she is ineligible for CERB. Ms. Przybly is now in a dire situation through no fault of her own.

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister Covid-19 pandemic measures for migrant workers in Canada

OPEN LETTER to Deputy Prime Minister Covid-19 pandemic measures for migrant workers in Canada

There are currently two umbrella programs in which temporary labour migration streams are grouped under: the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP). Data provided from the IRCC, Temporary Residents, from 31 July 2019 show that in 2018 there was 84,116 permit holders in the TFW Program and 254,520 permit holders in the International Mobility Program. In total, that is over 338,600 people working under temporary work conditions as of 2018. That means over 338,600 people will disproportionately suffer if the government does not act now.
For weeks, New Democrats have been calling on the government to make sure no one falls through the cracks in this pressing time. As demonstrated, TFWs are a particularly vulnerable group during this time.
Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, has publicly stated the window to contain the spread of COVID-19 is closing rapidly. Therefore, we request that the Government takes urgent action to immediately implement increased access to Healthcare services, and appropriate EI benefits so that
TFWs will not disproportionately suffer, and that this is communicated effectively to these groups.

IN THE NEWS: CBC - NDP MP immigration critic pushes back on new foreign worker regulations

IN THE NEWS: CBC - NDP MP immigration critic pushes back on new foreign worker regulations

Jenny Kwan, the NDP MP for Vancouver East and the critic for Multiculturalism, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship says, it's a good first step, but the changes don't go far enough to protect all migrant workers. She wants the government to provide migrant workers with open work permits and landed status when they come to Canada.

"If they're good enough to work here, aren't they good enough to stay?" asked Kwan.

Kwan says the new regulation doesn't help the 27 foreign workers she's currently trying to get open permits for.

IN THE NEWS: Star - Aside from ’nice words’, Liberals aren’t far from Conservatives on immigration, says NDP critic

IN THE NEWS: Star - Aside from ’nice words’, Liberals aren’t far from Conservatives on immigration, says NDP critic

“The Liberal government can say all these nice words and make themselves sound different from the Conservatives,” Kwan said in a phone interview. “But while the Conservatives’ policies targeted immigrants, for instance with Bill C-24 (Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act) as second-class citizens, the Liberals’ fixes are just creating new problems.”

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