Canada's National Farmers Union wants permanent status for migrants

City News

Toula Mazloum City News Dec 16, 2022

The National Farmer’s Union (NFU) is asking the government to give migrants “full and permanent status.”

It comes as International Migrants Day is marked on Dec.16.

NFU says they asked for equal rights for agricultural workers living, working, and studying in Canada last year.

Some of the demands included obtaining full residency status upon arrival and safe and dignified work conditions.

“We will continue our advocacy until the labour and human rights of these essential workers, whose skills are so necessary to the maintenance of our food system, are fully respected,” said the NFU in a statement.

According to NFU, there are around 500,000 undocumented migrants in the country and those workers do not have the same rights Canadian residents enjoy.

“They are particularly at risk of exploitation and often fearful of reporting the abuses they experience. Many do not seek medical and other basic services to avoid being flagged by immigration authorities,” read the statement.

Meanwhile, NFU says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Canada’s Minister of Immigration to try to find ways to regulate migrants’ and undocumented workers’ status in his mandate letter.

“We know that migrant agricultural workers play a key role in our food systems, and we believe that they need better working conditions and the opportunity to become full and permanent residents in our communities,” said NFU.

“The details of the government’s regularization program are currently being debated in a cabinet sub-committee and will soon be sent to the whole of cabinet. Now is the time to push for equality for all migrants, including undocumented farmworkers!”