Today, actions are taking place across the country to call for full and permanent immigration status for all. In the early hours of the morning, migrant justice group No One is Illegal – Halifax/K’jipuktuk (NOII-Hfx) attached a banner to the Halifax Regional Municipality’s welcome sign on Highway 102, which reads “Status for All: No one is illegal.”

32 organizations and unions in Nova Scotia issued an open letter to Premier Stephen McNeil and his cabinet calling for action to protect the health and safety of migrant workers in the province. The letter also echoes nationwide calls for the federal government to grant permanent residence status for all migrants.

Stacey Gomez, Asaf Rashid, Jessica Tellez and Wanda Thomas explain how racist immigration policies keep migrant workers temporary. “In Nova Scotia, approximately 2000 migrant workers arrive each year through Temporary Foreign Worker Programs, to plant and harvest crops, and to process our agriculture, as well as seafood products. Abuse of migrant workers is rampant in Nova Scotia and across Canada. The recently released report Unheeded Warnings includes accounts from migrant workers in Nova Scotia about being coerced into speaking positively of their employers during a government inspection under threat of deportation. Other workers report having racist slurs used against them when they spoke out about poor conditions. We’ve also received reports of migrant workers being unlawfully prevented from leaving Nova Scotia farms.”

“We’ve seen migrant workers being impacted by COVID-19 from coast to coast, and that highlights that this is a systemic issue. It’s not a coincidence that so many migrant workers are becoming ill.” We speak with Stacey Gomez of No One Is Illegal – Halifax/K’jipuktuk about migrant workers in Nova Scotia, their exposure to both Covid-19 and xenophobia, and what the province should do.

Saturday, July 4th marks the cross-Canada Day of Action for Status for All, with events taking place in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. As part of these actions, the migrant justice group No One is Illegal – Halifax/K’jipuktuk (NOII-Hfx) has launched a local poster campaign calling for full immigration status, as well as access to public healthcare for all migrants.