#StatusForAll rally in Ottawa: Full immigration status for all is necessary for global justice
On July 25, the Status for All rally on unceded Algonquin territories (Ottawa) highlighted: “Full immigration status for all is necessary for global justice.”
Syed Hussan of the Migrant Rights Network, who helped organized the march, says: “Migrants are essential to our society, essential to our communities. We work here. We live here. But we are denied equal treatment. We are treated like second class citizens. We want the same rights as everybody else.”
The promotion for the rally noted: “Today, 1.6 million people in Canada, 1 in 23 residents, are without permanent resident status.”
“Migrants have always been in crisis, but this crisis has worsened during COVID-19. Migrants have lost work and wages during the crisis, but many have been shut out of emergency supports. Those already without wages have been abandoned. Others have been forced to keep working or return to work in dangerous conditions.”
It added: “Migrants – including farmworkers, refugees, careworkers, undocumented people, students and families – are coming to Ottawa from across the country to call on PM Justin Trudeau to ensure decent work, family unity, and equal rights.”
Migrants from Latin America
Some of the migrants in Canada are from Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico.
They are fleeing a range of oppressions including poverty, violence, human rights violations and the impacts of climate breakdown (including food insecurity) in their home countries. They may also be impacted by Canadian mining operations and repressive governments that are supported by the Canadian government.
At the same time, the latest data published by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) shows that Canada deported 12,122 people in 2020, the highest number of deportations in a year since 2015. Thousands more may be forcefully removed this year.
Montreal-based community activist Stefan Christoff has commented: “As Trudeau continues with his rhetoric of welcoming all those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canada is rapidly militarizing its borders. The 2019 federal budget, for example, promised a strategy costing 1.18 billion Canadian dollars ($940m) over five years to beef up border security and to detect, intercept and remove migrants.”
This militarization of borders is also being seen in Guatemala, Mexico and elsewhere.
On June 24, Peace Brigades International and 31 other organizations expressed concern about this militarization of borders in a Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants at the Human Rights Council session in Geneva.
PBI has signed this statement that further expresses the concern that the practice of returning migrants is being performed “in contexts of militarization of borders, particularly in the United States, Mexico and Guatemala.”
PBI-Canada affirms that migrant rights are human rights.