Montreal. QC. Thousands of Montrealers have no regular immigration status. Officially, they don’t exist. In reality, they are our neighbours, friends, family, people we encounter in the streets; the guy cleaning the office at night, the teenager who put the carrots into the bag you get at the grocery store and her mom who cleans your hotel room, the older man with a cane collecting cans.
Originally published by Solidarity Across Borders.
We’re now well into the second wave of the pandemic and winter is on its way. Every winter, much of the work available to our undocumented neighbours disappears. In the context of the pandemic, very few people have been able to find steady work – not even the highly exploitive work under terrible conditions undocumented migrants are too often forced to accept. Work which subsidizes the lifestyle of citizens.
Despite strong, migrant-led mobilizations over the past months, the governments of Canada and Quebec have continued to refuse undocumented migrants access to work permits, emergency relief, social assistance, or even healthcare.
Many are now struggling to keep apartments, find money for food, medication, and to support their families in Canada and abroad. In these circumstances, the mental health of many is deteriorating.
While many in Canada have money to spend on luxuries, others fight for survival.
We urgently need to replenish our mutual aid fund, which attempts to provide some of the support the state is denying undocumented community members, including many who are actively involved in mobilizing for status for all. As the migrant struggle for justice continues – a struggle which concerns every one of us – we must take care of each other. Please give as generously as you can: anything you can spare is very much appreciated, and needed. Please also reach out to your own networks and organizations and ask them to help.
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