A Policy Brief: Prolonged Precarious Status in Canada
15 Pages Posted: 10 May 2017 Last revised: 16 Jun 2017
Date Written: May 1, 2017
The scope, frequency, and intensity of the recent reforms to Canadian immigration, refugee, and citizenship policies have made the process of gaining access to permanent status in Canada lengthier, more complicated, and more onerous with little opportunity to appeal or review denied applications. The current federal government has an ambitious roadmap outlined for the immigration, refugees and citizenship portfolio. The one-day workshop titled “Prolonged Precarious Status in Canada: Generating policy directions for the new federal government” sought to provide concrete policy recommendations to the new Minister as he responds to his mandate.
Twelve experts selected on the basis of their scholarship and engagement with policy makers, civil society organizations, and the broader community found that the problem of prolonged precarious status in Canada touches upon two broad categories of persons: persons with temporary residence (mainly temporary migrant workers, refugees and refugee claimants) and persons with no status (ascribed by the state designating their entitlement to rights and access to services). Their recommendations are divided into three broad categories: revisions, repeals, and proposed additions to current policies. All experts noted that policy action must involve meaningful consultations with activists, labour unions, and civil society organizations, alongside a variety of governmental bodies across municipal, provincial, and federal jurisdictions. There is consensus that current migration management involves a greater but concerning reliance on temporary status and that such reliance leads to abuse, exploitation, family separation, and contributes to racialized and criminalized misinformation about migrants. This policy brief calls for a systemic approach to not only reviewing temporary and precarious status in Canada, but also recommends that permanent status should be used more.
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