Canada issues plan allowing immigrants living in Canada without valid work permits to stay

zahraa ahmed - | World News

Monday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and his party's MPs joined unions and community organizations to push Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to launch a comprehensive program allowing thousands of migrants living in Canada without proper documentation stay in the nation.

A proposal to settle the situation of illegal residents in Canada

Marc Miller, the minister of immigration, is getting ready to present a strategy to the cabinet that meets Tuesday and one more before Parliament shuts for the summer in June. It would suggest giving anyone residing in Canada without legal status, particularly former foreign students whose study visas have expired, an opportunity to regularize their situation and acquire permanent residency.

500,000 illegal immigrants live in Canada

Academics project that between 20,000 and 500,000 illegal immigrants live in Canada. The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change

Depending on the volume of applications, the government could take into account spreading the awarding of permanent residency to illegal immigrants over several years to prevent a sudden rise by first allowing work permits first.

Do not limit the number of requests

The NDP asked the administration not to restrict the application count.

In a letter, Mr. Singh and the NDP caucus want Mr. Trudeau to immediately implement "a broad, comprehensive and uncapped regularizing initiative so that undocumented workers in Canada have a clear and accessible path to permanent residency."

Continue to explore ways to regulate the status of undocumented workers

A regularizing strategy would satisfy the mandate letter sent by Prime Minister Sean Fraser, former immigration minister Sean Fraser, asking him to "further explore ways of regularizing status for undocumented workers who are contributing to Canadian communities."

Plans to let migrants regularize their situation have been adopted by several nations.

Opportunity to obtain legal permission to stay

Launched in 2022, a six-month initiative in Ireland provided anyone who had lived there for four years the opportunity to seek legal authorization to remain.

Twenty labor organizations joined the federal settlement program

According to a statement from the Migrant Workers Alliance, more than twenty labor organizations—including the Canadian Labour Congress, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers—joined faith organizations like the Anglican Church of Canada and community groups to demand a federal regularization program.

Siobhan Vipond, executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress, urged a "broad regularization program so that undocumented people can contribute to their fullest potential to Canada's economic and social future" during an Ottawa press conference.

Undocumented workers in Canada are subject to abuse and exploitation

She stated undocumented persons are subject to abuse and exploitation as they lack status, hence allowing them to stay will let them "leave bad jobs and punish bad actors, levelling the playing field and improving working conditions for everyone."

The NDP letter states that because of their difficult situation, which can result in exploitation and maltreatment — abuses they may not disclose out of fear of deportation – illegal immigrants have restricted access to health care, education, and legal protection.

Immigrants pay their taxes and work hard

"Migrants arrive to Canada expecting to be treated properly as they help to create Canada's social, cultural, educational, and economic fabric. They pay their taxes and exert great effort. The letter states, far too many migrant workers labor in low pay and unstable employment, are exposed to inadequate working conditions and are prone to abuse because of their temporary status.

Undocumented lesbian lady from Uganda, Jane Kirabira, who has banned same-sex partnerships, made a passionate appeal at the news conference to let illegal immigrants acquire permanent status.

She said her refugee application was denied and that returning to Uganda would result in either life in jail or maybe execution.

Last year, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni enacted legislation allowing the death sentence for "aggravated homosexuality," which set up a worldwide protest.

Decreased public support for immigration

In response to declining public support for immigration, Ottawa limited last year the number of permanent immigrants it intends to welcome to Canada for 2026 at 500,000.

The federal government has also stayed to its objectives of 500,000 for 2025 and 485,000 permanent residents for 2024.

Public support for immigration has dropped sharply as Canadians link a shortage of affordable homes with an inflow of immigrants.

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zahraa ahmed
zahraa ahmed
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