Letter: Supporting the call for regularization

Photo by John Englart.

Editor’s note: The following is a submitted letter to the editor in response to recent comments made by Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and in support of regularization for undocumented people. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of Kingstonist.


Dear editor,

As someone who since 2015 has been active with faith and community groups in the sponsorship of Syrian refugees to Kingston, I strongly support a comprehensive regularization program that would provide permanent resident status for undocumented people.

Many citizens in our area have volunteered their time and resources to make newcomers settle and feel welcome. I was therefore surprised and concerned by Immigration Minister Marc Miller’s recent remarks in the Globe and Mail and on the CBC suggesting a lack of consensus in Canada for regularization. To many Canadians, regularization is both fair and necessary.

A rally for regularization in Toronto. Photo via Migrant Rights Network.

Like many, I have been closely following the mistreatment of undocumented individuals in the media. Undocumented people have no access to basic human rights such as health care, fair conditions of work, education, and protection from gender-based violence. They face exploitation at work, mistreatment by landlords, and separation from their families. The only solution is to grant them permanent resident status so they can have the equal rights they deserve. This is why every major labour, healthcare, faith, climate, and civil society group –  a very large number of organizations – are supporting the call for regularization.

It is distressing and shameful to see immigrants wrongly blamed for the housing and affordability crisis in the media and by some politicians. These issues are due to government policy failures, financial speculators, and pandemic profiteers, not immigrants. Most Canadians support immigration and regularization because we know it strengthens our economy. In fact, research indicates that regularization will grow the economy by $28 billion.

Many undocumented people had their hopes raised when Prime Minister Trudeau promised regularization in December 2021. Undocumented immigrants provide many of our essential services, and yet, today they are still waiting. The danger of increased negative attitudes to newcomers can only be met by positive government action. 

This is a matter of justice and humanity. As Canadians known for our diversity, we must move forward with compassion and common sense. It’s time for comprehensive regularization to happen now.

Sincerely,

Marguerite Van Die
Kingston resident


Share your views! Submit a Letter to the Editor or an Op/Ed article to Kingstonist’s Editor-in-Chief Tori Stafford at [email protected].

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