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Undocumented migrants spend a night in front of federal offices in Montreal

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Organizations calling for regularized status for all undocumented migrants in Canada spent all night Saturday and Sunday in front of the Guy-Favreau Complex in Montreal to urge the federal government to act quickly on this issue.

While Ottawa continues to work on a regularization program, the organizations plead that with each passing day, undocumented migrants continue to suffer from discrimination and exclusion across the country.

In a news briefing, they stressed that status for all is necessary to ensure truly equitable access to housing, employment and health care, among others.

In their view, the federal government's regularization programme should include all non-status people, without exception.

This was not the first time these organizations have mobilized.

Last summer, a march to Ottawa was organized, while in the fall, a bus toured the offices of federal MPs in the Montreal area to spread their message.

Led by Solidarity Across Borders, these groups chose to brave the cold and snow on Saturday night and Sunday morning, as they felt that spending a night outside illustrates how difficult some non-status people must live.

In the wake of the public and political debate on Roxham Road, the unofficial port of entry in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Montérégie, they reminded us that migrants are not a "crisis" per se, and that they can instead have a positive impact on certain needs in society, particularly with regard to the labour shortage.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on March 19, 2023. 

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