Edmonton, Canada pushes for stronger policies protecting undocumented migrants, access without fear

by Marjorie Carmona Newman, ABS-CBN News

Human rights groups in Edmonton are pushing for policies and measures for the city to uphold rights of undocumented migrants.

Migrante Alberta says Edmonton is now home to a large wave of undocumented migrants, when the federal government implemented the four-year term limit on temporary foreign workers in 2011.

Migrante Alberta estimates there are between 10,000 to 25,000 undocumented people in Edmonton alone with no immigration status or uncertain immigration status.

Thus, the sanctuary city Edmonton was formed.


“It means that anybody regardless of their status can go to a recreation facility or library without being asked of their status,” said Marco Luciano. “They can provide their address without of fear of being picked up by immigration.

The City of Edmonton’s community and public services committee has been working on developing an access without fear policy, and a vote is expected by council this summer.

“We are appealing to the government esp here in Edmonton because it will help us to feel safe and secure. There are lots of Filipinos with no status here,” said one immigrant.

“Being out of status is not a crime it might have violated some aspects of refugee and protection act. However, they were invited here to come to Canada as documented, unlike TNT’s. Most of them were temporary workers,” said Luciano.

Marilda Francisco Kane, an active Filipino community volunteer, thinks the sanctuary proposal is a good idea, but raised some questions.

“What would be the rules and regulations if the vote goes through. If you’re out of status you cant get health care, you can’t go to a doctor. How about the employers? If they know you’re out of status will there be abuse?” she asked. “They can take advantage of the employee as well.”

The federal government lifted the mandatory four-year limit on temporary foreign workers in December 2016.

Anyone already in Canada on a lapsed permit cannot re-apply without leaving the country.


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  • Joe smuck
    18 March 2018 at 10:38 am - Reply

    You come to this country you do it legal, thru the system or go home. Charity starts starts with our own tax paying citizens.