profile image

Syed Hussan

Coordinator, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change

Sebastien Bergeron via Getty Images

Minister Goodale: Immigrant Detainees Are Running Out Of Time

Late on Tuesday afternoon, minister Goodale -- or likely his staff -- issued a press release that appears as a blog on the Huffington Post Canada. In it, the minister says he has heard the concerns and is working swiftly to remedy the problem -- but he just needs more time. Yet, under his watch as minister of public safety, three people have died in immigration detention in the last five months. This is a tragedy and a political crisis. These three, Francisco Romero Astorga, Melkioro Gahungu and an unidentified man, all ran out of time. And so has the minister.
07/20/2016 04:28 EDT
Andrew Bret Wallis via Getty Images

Why Is Stephen Harper Sending Us Back to 1973?

The creation of the "temporary" migrant worker programs were at their very core a policy rooted in racist exclusion. And that's exactly where the clock is being turned to today. The shutting out of thousands of racialized women from permanent immigration status is being strangely spun as a step forward. Immigration Minister Chris Alexander insisted, "We are saying to the whole Canadian population, to caregivers above all, the time of abuse and vulnerability is over".
12/01/2014 01:15 EST
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Fear of Migrant Workers Is Xenophobia

The use of incorrect statistics and skewed economic arguments to demand the exclusion of Temporary Foreign Workers by people all along the political spectrum hearkens to a lengthy history of exclusion of immigrants from Canada. While in the past racist headlines read "Immigrants are taking Canadian jobs," now they insist "Foreign workers are taking Canadian jobs." What's the difference? There is more afoot here, its xenophobia and it must be challenged. It is important that we do not repeat the injustices of the past. Full immigration status for all, full rights for all workers is the only way forward. Resist attempts to divide unemployed, migrant, and poor people.
04/25/2014 12:16 EDT
CP

2013 Immigration Changes and Victories in Canada

While Harper lies to the media, Ministers Kenney and Alexander are out touting the next wave of destructive immigration changes. Now is a good time to look back and reflect on what changed in immigration in 2013, and the ways that migrant justice activists fought back.
01/20/2014 05:12 EST

Some Excluded in Quebec, Many Excluded From Canada

Thousands are outraged at the PQ's Charter of Values. But while the wearing of religious symbols is defended, poor and working class immigrants themselves are being excluded from the entire country. Many are shut out entirely, and an immense number relegated to second class status as temporary migrants.
09/18/2013 05:26 EDT

Immigrants Need Solutions, Not Lip Service

Canada's "Temporary Foreign Worker Program" has received significant attention over the past year. Where it appears in the budget, Canada's migration scheme and the current unemployment dilemma is painted by the Conservative government and many commentators afterwards as a competition between promoting migrant labour or Canadian employment. The missing story is that the Conservative strategy is one of divide-and-rule, about making workers -- with or without immigration status -- work more for less.
04/08/2013 12:09 EDT
CP

The Great Tory Rip-Off of Migrant Workers

Just last week, Federal Human Resources Minister Diane Finley took away special E.I. benefits from migrant workers through a quiet Thursday afternoon regulatory change. She did this assuming that most people wouldn't notice. Just in 2008, migrant workers and their employers paid an estimated 300-million dollars in to E.I. but were only able to access some paternal, maternal and compassionate benefits. Now even that has been made off-limits.
12/18/2012 08:20 EST
CP

"I Am Here in Canada and I Am Treated like a Dog"

The Canada Border Services Agency just announced that it had deported 16,511 people in 2011-2012, dubbing it a "milestone year." Every year tens of thousands of migrant workers are coerced to leave after getting hurt on the job or because their work permits are revoked or have been completed. This is euphemistically called "repatriations." Canada is implementing a revolving door immigration policy, with high deportations and a shift to migrant work. It is clear to see who is paying the cost of these policies. Are we okay with this? It's time we slow this down.
11/13/2012 08:20 EST

Worker Exploitation Is Not Just a Chinese Problem

If you've been following all the flare-up in British Columbia in the last few weeks about migrant workers from China coming to work in B.C.'s coal mines you'd think that migrant workers being charged recruitment fees is something that's never been done before. Fact of the matter is that charging recruitment fees is not just a "Chinese" problem; it is a home grown Canadian one.
11/02/2012 05:56 EDT