Stop the Deportations and Detentions!

Tens of thousands of migrants live and work in Canada in extremely precarious situations. They have lost their legal immigration status, as they have fallen through the cracks of Canada’s immigration system. As part of its labour market strategy, Canada that takes advantage of the economic desperation of migrants to fill the country’s labour shortages without the necessary protection and justice that they deserve. Instead, undocumented migrants are treated as criminals who need to be detained and deported.

Without clear pathways to permanent residence, many migrant workers are at risk of becoming undocumented migrants. When that happens, they continue to work to survive and support Canada’s economy without access to benefits, services and mechanisms that protect their rights as workers. They live in constant fear of being deported.

The Government of Canada made a commitment to launching a regularization program that would give legal immigration status to undocumented migrants. Meanwhile, undocumented migrants are still being detained and deported, which contradicts or undermines this commitment.

Let Danilo Stay!

The case of migrant rights defender and worker Danilo de Leon has shone the spotlight on the situation of migrant workers in Canada. In 2009, Danilo came to Canada as a temporary foreign worker to Alberta to fill labour shortages and has contributed to Canada’s economy as an essential worker. Now he faces a deportation order. Danilo has been an outspoken advocate for the rights of migrants in Canada – both documented and undocumented – as an essential worker and chairperson of Migrante Canada, a national organization with thirteen member organizations from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec.

Our Urgent Call

We are urgently calling on the Government of Canada to immediately stop all deportations and detentions of undocumented migrants, including that of Danilo de Leon, as a necessary gesture of good faith to honour Canada’s commitment to a regularization program.

We urge the Government of Canada to fulfill its commitment to a regularization program for all undocumented migrants to ensure fairness and justice that migrants deserve as a pillar of Canada’s economy.

You can support our urgent call to let Danilo stay by signing the petition at this link


Stop the Labour Export Policy!

While we are seeking regularization to address the extreme forms of vulnerability faced by out-of-status migrants, regularization does not resolve the precarious situations that many migrant workers are in whether or not they have legal immigration status.

Forced migration is an essential feature of the global capitalist economy. The majority of migrants leave their countries due to untenable economic and political conditions in their home countries unleashed by a history of colonization. Wars driven by rivalry among rich capitalist countries and climate change are also factors that lead to large-scale migration.

The pathway of forced migration is rife with exploitation and oppression from the time migrants leave their home countries to the point of extreme vulnerability when they lose their legal immigration status due to conditions not of their own making. 

As governments in colonized countries seek to export people to ease unemployment and social unrest as well as benefit from migrant remittances, migrants are forced to pay ‘state exactions’ every step of the way, including financial contributions to social programs they do not benefit from. The desperation many migrants have to find jobs overseas are taken advantage of by unscrupulous recruitment agencies and immigration consultants through exorbitant fees and fraudulent practices.

In rich capitalist countries such as Canada, migrants are a source of cheap labour to fill the gaps in the labour force.  Migrants face exploitation, economic hardship and precariousness as low-wage ‘guest workers’ who have limited access to rights as permanent residents or citizens in host countries. They fill labour shortages to keep Canada’s economy running, and at the same time, they shore up the ailing economies of their home countries through their remittances.

For those who lose their legal immigration status or become ‘undocumented migrants’ due to barriers to attaining permanent resident status and other pitfalls in the immigration system, the exploitation and precariousness is extreme.

Our Urgent Call

We hold the Philippine government accountable for perpetuating the conditions that lead to forced migration and for maintaining a Labour Export Policy (LEP) that exploit migrant workers through state exactions, without protection and assistance overseas, including protection from unscrupulous recruitment agencies.

Our call is to Stop the Labour Export Policy and for the Philippine government to provide assistance and support as set out in law by the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995 (No. 8042), while taking action to create sustainable and decent jobs so Filipinos are not forced to leave their country.