Release: International students and migrants need rights, not caps

Media Release

Migrant Workers Alliance for Change

Media Liaison: Sarom Rho, 416-887-8315,, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change

International students and migrants need rights, not caps

“There is an immigration crisis in the country but it’s not in runaway numbers, it’s in the abuse, exploitation and exclusion of people without permanent resident status and that is where we must focus. 

In addition to the 2 year cap on international student permits, Minister Miller also announced that in the week ahead families of international students who are not in graduate level studies will be banned from being in the country – this is cruel mass family separation. It must be reversed.

Minister Miller has also banned post-graduate work permits for anyone starting their studies on September 1, 2024 at a public-private partnership educational institution. This does not fix the failures of the massive expansion of such get-rich institutions to which recruiters will continue to funnel vulnerable students. There must be a single system in which schools that are eligible for study permits should also be eligible for post-graduate work permits. If the school is not good enough for a post-graduate work permit, it simply should be closed down. 

Migrants are facing a roller-coaster of policy changes, with new announcements almost every day – we need predictability and transparency. At minimum that means the announcements today should not apply to anyone with a valid study permit or who has applied for a study permit. Otherwise, tens of thousands of students will be punished for failures of government policy. We ask at a minimum that those with valid study permits or who have applied for a study permit at these PPPs are grandfathered in and have access to post-graduate work permits. 

All of us in Canada are facing overwhelming bills and exorbitant rent because of price-hikes, failures of government policy and runaway profiteering. And yet it is immigrants who are being scapegoated. Housing prices went up even when the border was closed during COVID-19. Capping immigration is not a solution, prices will remain high, all today’s announcement does is cede to racist ideas and hurt working class people and their families.”

— Sarom Rho, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change / Migrant Students United.

Migrant Students United is a sector of Migrant Workers Alliance for Change. We are the only cross-country organization that serves as a representative body for both current and former international students, with membership of study permit holders, post-graduate work permit holders and undocumented students in ten provinces and territories. Our Fairness Agenda for Migrant Student Workers platform has been endorsed by national student, labour and civil society organizations representing over 533,080 people across the country.