Undocumented migrants will march from Montreal to Ottawa for seven days this summer to demand a “comprehensive and continuous” program to regularize their status, Solidarity Across Borders announced on Saturday.
“Prime Minister Trudeau, we are tired of waiting. We are coming,” the organization wrote in a press release announcing the “historic march” scheduled for July 18-25.
Migrants “work on the front line of danger, but there is no one who recognizes their efforts,” said Samira Jasmin, a spokesperson for Solidarity Across Borders.
“We’re trying our luck”, she said before saying she herself has no status despite many efforts to regularize her situation since she arrived from Algeria eight years ago.
Jasmin does not understand why the Canadian government is looking for “other immigrants elsewhere, when there are thousands of people who are here without status, who have the capacities, who are ready, who speak the language.”
Other pressure groups have indicated that they will take part in the march, including the Fédération des femmes du Québec, which says it denounces the “hypocrisy” of governments and systems that profit from the “exploitation” of undocumented workers who contribute to society while undergoing “the constant fear of deportation”.
Tenants without status are disproportionately affected in the housing shortage given that they cannot access subsidized housing in Quebec, said the Front d’Action populaire en réaménagement Urbain (FRAPRU), announcing support for the event.
Quebec is in fact “one of the most restrictive provinces in terms of access to social housing for people seeking asylum, refugees, and people without status” since only permanent residents have access, said Véronique. Laflamme, a spokesperson for FRAPRU.