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#CenteringtheMargins, The Issues: Immigration



There has been an ableist and racist trend in Canadian immigration policy for centuries, and Canada is only continuing these practices.


The live in caregiver program and the seasonal agricultural worker programs, primarily recruit workers from racialized countries like Jamaica, and the Philippines. These programs are marketed  as the easiest ways to immigrate to Canada from these countries. These programs also create power dynamics between employers and workers that are rife with abuse, and continue the long legacy of exploiting and using immigrant racialized labour, without affording the workers the same rights and protections as Canadians. The deportation of migrant labourers when they are hurt on the job or become disabled also continues a history of eugenics ideology in our immigration system.


Hundreds of these workers have been separated from their families for years and face significant barriers in sponsoring their families to Canada. The unification of these workers with their families should be a priority for the Canadian government.


Adding to all of that - Canada’s practice of indefinite detention of refugees needs to be stopped. Asylum seekers are detained for months and sometimes years, in prison-like situations. Children are often housed in these detention facilities as well, which adds to the already traumatic experience of seeking asylum. Asylum seekers should not be treated like criminals while they wait for their refugee claims to process.


And climate migration as a result of civil conflict and natural disasters is becoming more and more commonplace. However, Canada is tightening its immigration policies has lead to cuts in the amount of funding that goes towards refugee claimants and their resettlement. Border controls such as the Canada-United States safe third country agreement, threaten the safety of refugees who are not safe in the United States. 

With its legacies of violence, Canadian immigration policy has to be re-evaluated and rewritten with justice for immigrants, migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees in mind.

© 2020 by Disability Justice Network of Ontario.

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