Migrants Speak Up Against Increasing Racism, Demand Full & Permanent Immigration Status for All

TORONTO, March 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Migrants, refugees, undocumented people, workers, and international students are taking action on March 20, 2022 in 10 cities in Canada, and 9 locations in Jamaica, to call for full and permanent immigration status for all, and to mark the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Actions are being organized following the increased racism during the “Freedom Convoy”, and Canada’s continued exclusion of racialized refugees from the Global South. The actions mark two years since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, which continues to disproportionately impact racialized migrants. Migrants are urging Prime Minister Trudeau to make urgent and permanent changes to ensure immigration rights, instead of partial, time-limited programs.

The cross-country day of action is coordinated by the Migrant Rights Network, Canada’s largest migrant-led coalition. Public actions are taking place in Burnaby, Calgary, Edmonton, Guelph, Montreal, Niagara, Ottawa, Sault Ste. Marie, St John's, and Toronto. Migrant farmworkers are also organizing activities in farms across the country, as well as in Mo Bay, St James; Litchfield, Trelawny; Mandeville, Manchester; Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth; Mocho, Clarendon; Alexandria, St. Ann; Morant Bay, St. Thomas; St. Mary and Kingston, Jamaica.

Coordination Media Contact: Syed Hussan, 416-453-3632, Migrant Rights Network Secretariat

Actions on Sunday, March 20, 2022

  • Toronto, ON: 2pm, Rally at City Hall, march to Queen’s Park
    • Contact: Sarom Rho, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, 416-887-8315
  • Burnaby, BC: 12pm, MP Terry Beech’s office, 3906 E. Hastings St.
    • Contact: WeiChun Kua, Migrant Students United - SFU, 778-887-4936
  • Calgary, AB: 2pm, Peace Bridge
    • Contact: Vanessa Ortiz, AMexCal, 403-612-7396
  • Edmonton, AB: 4pm, MP Randy Boissonnault’s office, 10235 124 St. NW.
    • Contact: Danilo de Leon, Migrante Alberta, 780-860-0731
  • Guelph, ON: 2pm, MP Lloyd Longfield's office, 111 Farquhar St.
    • Contact: Susan Rosenthal, Justice for Workers - Guelph, 519-400-1325
  • Montreal, QC: 12:30pm, Premier François Legault's office, 770 Sherbrooke O.
  • Niagara, ON: 2pm, NOTL Townhall
    • Contact: Kit Andres, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, 905-324-2840
  • Ottawa, ON: 12:30pm, Human Rights Monument, 220 Elgin St.
    • Contact: Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, 416-993-1813
  • Sault Ste Marie, ON: 11:30am, Paroisse Sainte-Marie-Du-Sault, 847 Trunk Road
    • Contact: 438-837-8942
  • St John’s, NL: 1pm, Colonial Building
    • Contact: Adi Khaitan, Migrant Students United - NL, 709-693-6032


  • Racism is increasing. Some protestors brought Nazi symbols and anti-Semitic and racist images to Freedom Convoy events. The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change launched a reporting tool to track discrimination and it was over-run with vile and violent messages.
  • Canada made the right decision to issue two year permits to Ukranian refugees, but racialized non-Ukranian citizens who are refugees, as well as asylum seekers from countries in the Global South with mostly racialized people, do not have the same access.
  • There are over 1.6 million migrants (residents without permanent resident status) in Canada, equivalent to 1 in 23 residents.
  • As a result, many are excluded from health care and social services and cannot unite with their families. Lack of permanent resident status makes it difficult, and often impossible, for migrants to speak up for their rights at work or access services, including those they may be eligible for, because of a well-founded fear of reprisals, termination, eviction, and deportation.
  • Thousands of migrant workers, refugees, students, and undocumented people lost their lives and livelihoods in COVID-19. At one point, migrant farmworkers were five times more likely to get COVID-19 than health care workers.
  • Canada created the “Guardian Angels” program for some refugee and undocumented health care workers, which expired in August 2020. The Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident (TR to PR) program was created in May 2021, which expired in November. These programs excluded the majority of racialized, low-waged migrants. No permanent changes have been made to ensure immigration rights.
  • Every migrant-led organization in Canada, as well as over 400 civil society organizations, are jointly calling for full and permanent immigration status for all migrants in the country, as well as permanent resident status for all on arrival in future: www.StatusforAll.ca