A bunch that advocates for the rights of migrants is pushing for adjustments to a lately introduced short-term immigration program, calling it unfair, exploitative and exclusionary.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino introduced final month a brand new immigration pathway that can enable as much as 90,000 important employees and worldwide graduates already in Canada to transform their non permanent standing to everlasting standing.
This system — which is able to start accepting purposes on Thursday — is a uncommon alternative for low-wage, low-skilled employees to acquire everlasting residency and, ultimately, Canadian citizenship by an immigration system that usually prioritizes extremely expert employees.
However the Migrant Rights Community says a big quantity of employees, college students and up to date graduates with non permanent or no documented immigration standing do not meet the appliance necessities. The group says those that do qualify are scrambling to acquire the required language check outcomes and different required paperwork as they compete for a restricted variety of first-come, first-served spots.
“Any perception that this system would lastly guarantee rights, safety and dignity, even for employees in low-waged work, has been short-lived,” the group wrote in a report launched immediately.
“Refugees, undocumented folks and a whole bunch of hundreds of different migrants have realized that this system exclusions and necessities shut them out.”
That criticism targets an initiative the Liberal authorities hopes will assist it settle for 401,000 new everlasting residents — after a yr when journey restrictions and a processing backlog attributable to the pandemic slowed immigration considerably.
Canada welcomed 184,624 immigrants in 2020 — the bottom quantity for any yr since 1998, based on Statistics Canada. The pre-pandemic goal set by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada for 2020 was 341,000 new immigrants.
Beneath the non permanent pathway introduced final month, the immigration division will take as much as 20,000 purposes for non permanent employees in well being care, 30,000 purposes for non permanent employees from an inventory of jobs deemed “important” and 40,000 purposes for worldwide college students.
Survey of migrants
When this system was introduced, the Migrant Rights Community created an internet software to assist migrants discover out whether or not they certified for this system. The software additionally allowed them to share details about their private immigration conditions.
The group says over 3,000 migrants stuffed out the survey and it analyzed a few of these leads to its report, which isn’t scientific or nationally consultant.
Many reported they do not meet the qualification necessities for one of many following causes: they’re undocumented as a result of they overstayed a brief visa or their work allow lapsed, they seem to be a refugee claimant, they’re a global scholar who hasn’t graduated but, or they seem to be a non permanent resident in Quebec.
Others do not qualify as a result of they’ve medical points or previous prison convictions, or as a result of they do not have legitimate eligible language check outcomes proving they’re proficient in English.
“The federal authorities has created a short-term program for a number of that excludes many,” Syed Hussan, government director of Migrant Rights Community, informed a press convention immediately. “What we’d like is everlasting standing for all.”
The Migrant Rights Community’s survey additionally flagged quite a few obstacles confronted by migrants who do qualify for this system — the issue concerned in reserving English language checks at one in all two authorized testing centres, for instance.
A second barrier is the truth that many employees do not manage to pay for saved as much as pay excessive charges for a everlasting residency software, or to pay immigration consultants and attorneys to assist them navigate the system.
“Collectively, which means individuals who don’t communicate English, individuals who haven’t got good jobs, individuals who haven’t got cash, individuals who are caught overseas, primarily low-wage, working class important employees, are being pushed to the underside of the road,” mentioned Hussan.
He mentioned that those that haven’t got everlasting standing have restricted entry to labour rights, well being care and schooling. He referred to as on Mendicino to sit down down together with his group to make this system extra accessible.
CBC Information requested an interview with Mendicino however has but to listen to again from the minister’s workplace.