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Home Statement Statement | Migrante Canada<br>International Migrants Day<br>December 18, 2023

Statement | Migrante Canada
International Migrants Day
December 18, 2023

Statement | Migrante Canada<br>International Migrants Day<br>December 18, 2023

As 2023 draws to a close, on this International Migrants Day, we renew our commitment to fight for migrants’ rights and for a homeland where the people will not be forced to migrate.

The regime of Marcos Jr. continues to neglect the pressing problems faced by Filipino migrant workers, while it strengthens the implementation of the government’s labour export programme. His regime continues to ignore the demands for justice of the victims of illegal recruitment destined for Canada in July 2023 in the guise of international students. As the war in Palestine continues, the Marcos Jr regime also continues to neglect the rights and welfare of the migrants who were repatriated from Gaza and of the Palestinian refugees in the Philippines, as they are denied any government support to restart their lives and find decent jobs in the Philippines. The Marcos Jr regime continues to target Filipino migrant organizations like ours with disinformation, demonization, and repression and continues to implement former president Rodrigo Duterte’s order to create Philippine National Police attaches in various countries.

Globally, millions of migrants, refugees, and people continue to suffer from imperialist exploitation. Governments like the Philippines and Canada champion the neoliberal framework of development migration while they aggressively promote and exploit cheap and disposable migrant labour and continue to deny them their rights.  During the last 75 years of occupation, the Palestinian people are repeatedly confronted with genocide and ethnic cleansing by Zionist Israeli. Supported by American imperialism, Zionist Israel keeps the United Nations and the Security Council in chaos, refuses to provide basic services and public welfare and forgive debts, but spends up to US$10 billion on war. The mass displacement of the Palestinian people is a stark illustration of US imperialism’s role in the mass migration and displacement of peoples around the world.

In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government still falls short of delivering on its promise to alleviate the plight of thousands of migrants in Canada. Until now, the status of the more than 500,000 undocumented immigrants remains hanging in the balance, disenfranchised from the safety nets of society. Regardless of the labour and contributions of migrants in Canada, the Canadian government deported 7,032 people in just the first half of 2023, double that of deportations in the last two years. This means that Canada deported 39 people EVERY DAY in the first half of 2023.

Canada’s neo-liberal agenda turns to international students to fill its labor needs while at the same time uses them as convenient revenue sources to privately fund colleges and universities. It continues to rely on temporary immigration to boost its population growth and fill its labour shortages from federal guest worker programs that bring in farm and agricultural workers, caregivers, and temporary foreign workers (TFWs) in sectors such as health, retail, construction, and transportation.  The anti-worker and anti-migrant structures in these federal guest worker programs put migrant workers in vulnerable positions such as working under closed work permits that prohibit changing jobs and employers, repatriation when contracts end or terminated, limited or no access to support services, limited or no legal opportunities for permanent residence or settlement, the denial of the right to organize, and the threat and actual loss of status.

As the crisis worsens, we will consolidate our ranks to address the root causes of forced migration and demand the Philippine government create jobs at home. As we do this, we will continue to strengthen our just and democratic demands: respect for the rights of migrants in Canada for a living wage, the right to access health care, the right to organize, a stop to the detentions and deportations, a stop to discrimination, end of human trafficking, and regularization of all undocumented migrants, and  the permanent status for all.

As Migrante Canada, we must continue to build on the successes we have achieved this year. We must carry forward the collective learnings from the Migrante International’s 9th Congress and implement our unified program of action.

We will continue to work and make stronger our solidarity and mutual support with and among migrants, refugees, undocumented peoples, and their people’s organizations in Canada and across the globe. We will continue to widen and broaden our networks including that with unions, women’s, and youth groups, and with other movements including that on climate justice and anti-war.

We must take advantage of the crisis of imperialism to organize and mobilize the largest ranks of our compatriots, migrants, refugees, and displaced peoples with the view of ending decades-long forced migration and building a just and better society.

Long live the Migrants Movement!

Long live International Solidarity!