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'Migrant Spring' campaign calls for equal rights for migrant workers


Migrant workers from across the country are calling on the federal government for action when it comes to ensuring equal rights and status.

Demonstrations were held in multiple Canadian cities this weekend. In Fredericton, migrant workers met Sunday for a small gathering to help raise the awareness and promote what is being call “Migrant Spring.”

“We have 2.3 million migrant workers across Canada who are not set in their rights because they are afraid of facing reprimands from their employers,” says Niger Saravia, who is a member of the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change in the province.

“They are not enjoying the services that most Canadians do and I think it is about time for Canadians to join the fight for justice and status for all.”

Late in 2023, Immigration Minister Marc Miller promised a program to be deliver in the spring to “regularize” the status of undocumented immigrants.

With the first day of spring on Tuesday, migrants fear nothing will be done with the federal government set to rise for two weeks at the end of this week. Saravia is hoping for some sort of announcement this week with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on Thursday.

Saravia points to the fact many migrant workers are the ones cleaning our buildings and working the checkout lines at the grocery store and says it is only fair they are treated like any other Canadian. He also notes of a number of programs that are set to expire which could see a number of migrant workers soon leave the country if changes are not made.

“We cannot have an equal society when we have undocumented workers, when we have workers who are being treated as second class citizens,” Saravia states. “It’s about time.”

He says these workers often worker longer hours, sometimes through sickness due to the fear of being deported. He adds many of the workers can only work at one location due to their closed work permits which limits their options.

He says residents can join the “Migrant Spring” movement online, or can voice their concerns to their local M.P. There is also an online petition that people can sign that will go directly to the Prime Minister and Immigration Minister.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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