People hold up signs during a demonstration outside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s constituency office in Montreal, Saturday, June 6, 2020, where they called on the government to give residency status to migrant workers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Migrant workers hold virtual rally seeking full immigration status

Without emergency income supports provided to Canadian workers, some say migrants are going hungry

A group supporting migrant workers held a virtual rally Sunday that called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and MPs to immediately extend full immigration status for all non-permanent residents.

The event, sponsored by the Migrant Rights Network, featured a series of farm workers, caregivers, construction workers and others who expressed the difficulties of living through the COVID-19 pandemic without the government support given to Canadians.

“We are raising our voice because the COVID-19 virus has laid bare the crisis caused by capitalism, racism, climate change and war,” spokeswoman Sarom Rho said during the one-hour event.

Rho said the majority of migrants are paid low wages, and face many other challenges.

“Canada’s corporations profit off of the intentional temporariness caused by a two-tiered immigration system,” Rho said, adding that the novel coronavirus has hit migrants and poor the hardest.

“Without access to emergency income supports, migrants have been working through the crisis without basic labour rights or health and safety protections. We are going hungry, we are homeless, we have lost our lives.”

Without emergency income supports provided to Canadian workers, she says, migrants are going hungry as they struggle to survive.

Rho said migrants are calling on Trudeau to live up to his promise to do better to fight racism.

“So today we say to him, Prime Minister Trudeau do better by ensuring full immigration status for all.”

That would provide health services including hospitalization and access to doctors, worker protections against discrimination and abuse along with access to permanent wage increases and paid emergency leave.

It wants access to community supports such as food banks, emergency shelters and other services and an immediate moratorium on detentions and deportations.

The activist group launched the one-day event by supporting efforts to defund, disarm and dismantle police over racist policies following recent deaths at the hands of police, including George Floyd and several Canadians, such as Rodney Levi, an Indigenous man in New Brunswick.

“We are in the midst of a massive anti-racist uprising against police and anti-Black police violence, a groundshifting rebellion led by Black women and youth.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Migrant Workers

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Williams Lake First Nation inks historic cannabis deal with B.C. government

The agreement paves the way for WLFN to sell cannabis to the government, and open stores across B.C.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Vehicle found “burnt to a crisp” off of Hwy 5

Update from Clearwater RCMP detachment

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

16 COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health region

One person is in hospital and 34 people are isolating

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

Most Read