Quebec Solidaire wants to regularize the status of 10,000 immigrants by 2023
Immigrant Workers Center (IWC) members gathered in Parc-Extension on Saturday to demand that the Quebec government implement a regularization program for young non-status immigrants and their families.
Quebec Solidaire (QS), present at the rally, proposes regularizing 10,000 people in the program's first year, with eligibility criteria established by the federal government.
The measure aims to significantly improve the living conditions of immigrant children and teenagers by allowing them to complete their schooling in Quebec, among other things. Currently, young people with a precarious status—that is, who do not have refugee status or permanent residence—cannot enroll in CEGEP or university.
"They speak French, they have completed high school here, they are on sports teams, they are successful (...) These young people are Canadians. They are Quebecers. We must give them permanent residence as soon as possible so that they can focus on their development and their future," said Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, new MNA for Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne and immigration lawyer.
For Andrés Fontecilla, the QS MNA for Laurier-Dorion, the situation is "extremely worrying."
"There is a two-tier society being created: people who have rights and status, and all those who live in obscurity and invisibility. (...) We need a political solution that comes from the federal government but which is also accepted by the CAQ government', he said.
Young immigrants also testified at the event, expressing their fear of possible deportation.
"I love the school, my colleagues and my life here. I am an athlete, and I have won competitions in Quebec. But now I'm finishing high school, and I'm afraid I won't be able to continue my education and go to CEGEP. I am afraid that my family and I will be deported when my whole life is here," said a 19-year-old who didn't want to be identified.
-This report from The Canadian Press was first published on March 25, 2023.
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