Trudeau govt’s cancellation of permanent residency for caregivers leaves them in uncertain fear, says migrant groups and advocates

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– Press Release, Filipino Canadian Advisory Network

The Trudeau government’s cancellation of permanent residency for caregivers is alarming and reminiscent of the Trump administration’s anti-migrant policies, says migrant groups and their advocates at a press conference held today.

The Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada website was updated recently with the announcement that caregivers for children and caregivers for those with high medical needs would no longer be eligible for permanent residency if they have not completed 24 months of caregiving work by November 29, 2019.

“This news creates a lot of uncertainty among caregivers and their families.  It’s ironic that as we celebrate Family Day in BC — some of those who care for our young and elderly are fearful that their future in Canada and ability to reunite with their families may be in jeopardy,” says Natalie Drolet, West Coast Domestic Workers Association Executive Director, who noted the move was made without any consultation with caregivers.

Ms. Drolet added it is also unjust because it leaves the caregivers in a state of limbo where some may be afraid to leave abusive working conditions because they might not complete the 24 months in time.

For his part, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says the caregiver programs are under review and that a “pathway” to permanent residency will remain.

“This is unacceptable.  We call on the Trudeau government to ensure permanent residency for all caregivers and migrant workers. The ‘pathway’ is a remnant of the Harper administration. It placed a cap on the number of permanent residents from the caregiver program and it created hurdles that worked to dramatically decrease the number of caregivers able to obtain permanent residency,” says Michelle Silongan, Filipino Canadian Advocacy Network Spokesperson.

“The removal of permanent residency also reminds us of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies.  Canada has always prided itself on being an inclusive society that sees strength in diversity. Trudeau’s decision takes us in the wrong direction,” she added.

Upcoming actions in this campaign for permanent residency include a press conference and Community Meeting in Victoria on February 17th;  a Community Meeting and rally action at the Joyce Skytrain Station in Vancouver on February 24th;  and an ongoing petition drive.

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