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

No new COVID cases in Kootenay-Boundary

Interior Health says as of July 30, there were no additional cases in the previous two weeks

Plane crashes into Nelson supermarket parking lot

Pilot and passenger have minor injuries

Phase three presents new opportunities for Kootenay tourism

Message from MLA Michelle Mungall and MLA Katrine Conroy

Castlegar seniors asked to share their COVID experiences

Research project looks for information to help improve life for local seniors

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Interior Health reports nine new cases of COVID-19, 149 linked to Kelowna

Nine new cases were reported in the Interior Health region over the long weekend’s four reporting periods

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Feds fund $2M for habitat conservation in the Kootenays

Kootenay Connect program to protect habitat for species at risk in four areas in the region

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

Most Read