Illegal immigrants to get Canadian citizenship, confirms minister

Illegal immigrants to get Canadian citizenship, confirms minister

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December 15, 2023

TORONTO – Authorities in Canada are considering creating a path leading to Canadian citizenship for undocumented immigrants. The plan aims to cater to hundreds of thousands of people who have lived and worked in Canada illegally for years including the construction workers. Revealing the details, Immigration Minister Marc Miller said the program would allow those without documents to apply for permanent residency, including people who entered Canada legally, as temporary workers or international students, and then remained here even after the expiry of their visas.

The minister detailed that a plan in this regard would be presented to the cabinet in the spring, adding that estimates say 300,000 to 600,000 people are living in Canada without valid documents. The minister said many of these foreigners have worked in Canada for decades and have children but are at risk of deportation because they lack formal status, which he termed “makes absolutely no sense.”

“The conversation on regularizing people that are here, and by my estimation – my belief – should be Canadian, is not one that’s unanimous in the country. We have to have a greater conversation as a country about that,” he said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. The decision to grant citizenship to illegal migrants has been widely hailed by workers and rights groups in the country who advocate that the decision would help the migrants live respectfully in the country with grace and dignity.

Canada has ben known to welcome immigrants despite a wave of anti-immigration strategies being implemented worldwide. The country has seen record-breaking population growth last year, in what appears to be the direct result of pro-immigration policies.  According to the official statistics, the country’s population grew by over a million last year, first time since 1957 due to multiple reasons with immigration being the prominent one.

Statistics Canada, the government census agency, said earlier this year that the population has reached 39.5 million after the recent growth which marks the first 12-month period in ‘Canada’s history where the population grew by over one million people’. The 2.7-percent population growth was the highest since 1957, when the country saw a 3.3 percent spike in its population, due to multiple factors including post-World War II baby boom and a jump in refugees relocating from Europe.

The government agency said the surge in the number of permanent and temporary immigrants could “also represent additional challenges for some regions of the country related to housing, infrastructure and transportation, and service delivery to the population”. As far as statistics are concerned, Canada welcomed 437,000 immigrants in 2022, while the number of non-permanent residents in the country grew by 607,782.


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