Dozens of people demonstrated Sunday morning in downtown Montreal to demand from the federal government a comprehensive and continuous regularization program for refugees and migrants, who are the subject of “neglect” by the system.immigration.

The event marked the launch of a week of action in Montreal and Ottawa, headed by Solidarité sans frontières, to obtain better treatment for thousands of undocumented migrants.

Ottawa launched a regularization program last year for some asylum seekers who worked in health care during the pandemic. Solidarity Across Borders maintains that this program, which is already full in terms of demands, excludes the majority of migrants, even those considered to be essential workers.

“We want full regularization for everyone, without exception because everyone is essential, whether it’s people who have worked in the health sector or people in grocery stores, butcher shops or recycling pick-up. They have worked three times as hard, but they are less well paid, ”argued the representative of Guineans united for status, Mohammed Barry, who obtained his permanent residence last year, after eight years of“ fighting ”.

Solidarity Across Borders says many find it difficult to pay rent and food, and others are forced to take “dangerous and poorly paid jobs”. During the pandemic, “the undocumented migrants endured enormous difficulties”.

“Because of our situation, we do not have access to health care, social assistance, or legal work. It’s still the most important thing for a human being here, right? », Confided Samira Jasmin, a spokesperson for Solidarity Without Borders, who has been trying to regularize her situation since she arrived from Algeria eight years ago.

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Symbolic humanitarian request

Next Sunday, activists and undocumented migrants from Quebec plan to meet in front of the Prime Minister’s office Justin trudeau, in Ottawa, to present a symbolic humanitarian request for all people with precarious status in the country.

The Migrant Rights Network (RDPM) recently revealed that the rate of rejection of permanent residence applications in Canada on humanitarian grounds has doubled since 2019.

“For those without status, the only way out is humanitarian demand,” said Ms. Jasmin.

“It also expresses a little the despair of these people because they seek by all legal means to be able to have a normal life”, added Adboul Kan of Solidarity Without Borders.

The RDPM found that 70% of applications were rejected from January to March 2021 compared to 35% in 2019.

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