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

Speed limit on Nanaimo’s Georgia Avenue will be lowered to 30km/h

Lower speed limit, traffic calming part of a package of roadway reallocation measures

Overdose advisory issued in Nanaimo

Island Health warns of increase in overdoses from opioids and stimulants

City building cycle lane on Departure Bay Road, walking lane on Boxwood

Nanaimo council approves three active transportation projects totalling $170,000

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspects behind suspicious Bastion fire

Two people seen in the area where the fire broke out Monday

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

Most Read