Closure of immigration program leaves thousands without rights

By: Shazia Nazir/ Local Journalism Initiative
The Essential Worker stream of the new Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence Immigration program has closed.  The decision was made 10 weeks after it had opened, and leaves thousands of migrants without permanent resident status, and equal rights.
The new permanent residency program was set to close after six months or when the caps in each stream were reached. Its closure after just two months demonstrates how these first-come, first-serve programs are unfair. Racialized migrants in the most precarious conditions and facing the most restrictions and exploitation were among those unable to meet the arbitrary deadline.
Applicants have spent the last two months gathering supporting documents.  They’ve spent thousands on English language tests, immigration consultants, including families overseas, only to lose everything.
Migrant Rights Network has called on Justin Trudeau’s government to re-open this program and remove all caps and requirements and ensure Permanent Residency immediately for all migrants, including students, refugees, workers, and undocumented people now.