Canadian migrants demand full immigration status and family reunification on Father’s Day – National
Migrants to Canada call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to unite families and grant full immigration status on Father’s Day, which coincides with World Refugee Day.
The Migrants Rights Network criticized the federal government’s initiatives to support the influx of more refugees into the country in a statement released on Sunday, saying they were “woefully insufficient”.
“Existing ‘pathways’ and new temporary programs recently announced by the government continue to deny permanent status to the majority of migrants, especially undocumented residents,” said Sarom Rho, organizer of the Migrant Workers Alliance for change in Toronto.
“Despite rumors that it would be a ‘welcoming’ country and keen to improve the rights of migrant workers, Canada only accepted 25,000 refugees across all streams in 2020, a 50% reduction from the previous year. ‘last year. “
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A spokesperson for the office of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship refuted this, saying global migration has been disrupted by the pandemic, forcing the country’s entire resettlement system to operate at reduced capacity. .
A range of issues, including travel restrictions and difficulties obtaining documents, medical checks and temporary closures from international partners, such as the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ( UNHCR), also significantly slowed down the process, the source says.
Despite this, Canada is still among the most numerous countries in the world when it comes to refugee resettlement.
On Friday, the federal government unveiled three new measures to welcome more refugees to Canada, including a private sponsorship program and increasing the number of protected persons authorized in the country this year from 23,500 to 45,000.
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Speaking to the nation in a statement on Sunday, Mendicino said Canada hosted nearly half of all resettled refugees globally in 2020, noting that even UNHCR recently called Canada a “shining light in a horrible year for the resettlement of refugees ”.
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“Throughout the pandemic, Canada was one of the few countries that has never stopped resettling refugees in dire need of our help. While others close their doors, we keep them open, ”he said.
Trudeau also touted Canada’s record on accepting migrants in a separate statement.
“Canada has a proud humanitarian tradition of protecting the world’s most vulnerable people, and today we continue to open our borders and our hearts to those seeking safety and refuge from persecution and violence,” did he declare.
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The Prime Minister also highlighted the launch of a new refugee stream for human rights defenders at risk, which he says will make Canada one of the first countries to offer such protections.
But according to Migrants Rights Canada, they are not enough.
“The quota of protected persons has been increased for 2021 to 45,000 but the current backlog is 68,300, while most refugees are unable to apply,” the statement said, adding that only 18,500 people – less a third of the 58,378 applications last year – were able to apply in 2020 due to border closures and immigration processing changes brought on by COVID-19.
He also criticized changes to the federal government’s economic mobility pathways pilot project for adding only 500 refugee places to the initiative, while a new residence pathway for 90,000 temporary workers. essentials announced in April completely excluded refugees.
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And even as Canada prepares to accept more refugees, it has sought to prevent asylum seekers from entering the country through its land border – either through its safe third country agreement with the United States, or through a COVID-19 policy challenged in court. .
Julie Diesta, a member of the Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights, said migrant social workers are often subject to abuse, job loss and years of waiting for responses to their residency applications permed.
“The government’s ‘pathway’ 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.” , she said.
“We’re done waiting – we need full and permanent immigration status for all migrants now.”
– With files from Reuters
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