‘Migrant spring’ protesters rally in Victoria calling for regularization for undocumented workers


Rallies took place across several Canadian cities on Sunday, including Victoria and Vancouver, calling on the federal immigration minister to grant migrant workers permanent resident status.

In 2023, Immigration Minister Marc Miller promised a program to be delivered this spring to allow many undocumented people to apply for permanent residency.

However, there are organizations raising concerns some people will be left out. And for many, time is running out as the deadline for the migrant care workers program expires.

Organizers say this comes as two five-year caregiver pilot programs — the Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot — are set to expire on June 17.

Julie Diesta, a spokesperson for Vancouver Committee for Domestic Workers’ and Caregivers’ Rights, says this means those who have not yet been granted PR status could face deportation or become undocumented.

Diesta, a spokesperson for the Vancouver rally, says the rally’s goal is to encourage Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Miller to grant these workers status without what organizers say are unfair language and education requirements.

Protesters in Victoria called on Miller to create a program to regularize the status of migrants and end deportations and immigration detention.

Pamela Charron, the executive director of the Worker Solidarity Network in Victoria, helped organize the protest on the legislative steps.

“What we are hearing is that a lot of migrant workers are often tied to abusive employment, getting paid less than minimum wage, facing fears of retaliation for addressing health and safety issues in the workplace,” added Charron.

“We need to make sure they are able to address their rights and have full status to be safe and have decent work and decent pay in this country.”

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