Migrant Workers Alliance for Change and Caregivers Action Centre made the following policy submission to the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. DOWNLOAD HERE
Our key recommendations on Medical Inadmissibility:
- Immediately repeal Section 38(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
- Immediately grant permanent residency to everyone who was denied permanent residency on the basis of Section 38(1)(c) in the last 10 years.
FURTHER RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MIGRANT WORKER RIGHTS
We also urge the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration to develop legislation that:
1) Ensures permanent immigration status for all migrant workers
Status for All, Status on Arrival: All migrant workers must be able to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents immediately, independently and permanently without depending or relying on the sponsorship or good will of their employers or third party agencies. This program should include migrant workers already in Canada, those that have worked here and left and those arriving in the future. Migrant workers who have been granted permanent residency should get comprehensive settlement services that will ensure their success.
- This recommendation is distinctly separate from a provision of ‘pathway to permanent residency’. A ‘pathway’ is a two-step process that Caregivers had until November 2014 — the current two-streamed program contains a more restrictive pathway — and even then was shown to have the same forms of abuse and vulnerability that are found in other parts of the program.
- Permanent residency ensures services: Many labour rights and basic services in Canada like healthcare and post-secondary education are tied to permanent immigration status. Migrant workers pay for all these services through taxes and deserve access to them.
- Permanent residency is the norm: Most immigrants – refugees, spouses, high-waged immigrants – arrive to Canada with permanent resident immigration status, which gives them peace of mind, the ability to re-unite with their families and the tools they need to lay deeper roots and build our society further as soon as they arrive.
- Permanent residency re-unites families: Landed status on arrival would also allow caregivers to enter Canada with their families, thus eradicating family separation (which averages 6-8 years) while caregivers complete the program and wait for their permanent residence applications to be processed.
2) Ensures access to all social services and benefits
Ensure access to Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance and other federal entitlements to migrant workers already in Canada and portable benefits to migrant workers who are no longer here.