Groups call for permanent solution for international students facing deportation

Jun 20, 2023

Groups call for permanent solution for international students facing deportation

Twenty migrant justice organizations and South Asian diaspora groups demand that the burden of proof should not be on the students, the victims of the fraud.

Twenty migrant justice organizations and South Asian diaspora groups from across Canada -- Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg -- urge Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser to put a definite stop to the deportation of scores of international students from India.

“These students entered Canada like any other international students and they should not have to bear the burden of proof because of fraud committed by immigration consultants and education recruiters,” the joint letter states.

Receiving deportation orders and the precarity of having to live with a constant threat of being separated from their families and uprooted from their communities, and the associated struggle and turmoil, is a painful process and is punishment in itself, stated the letter.

Starting on May 28, students, their supporters, and community members held a continuous protest for more than two weeks in front of the CBSA headquarters in Mississauga. While this protest has now ended in response to Minister Fraser's announcement on June 14 to halt the deportations, students continue to express their concerns over the next steps in this process.

Migrant justice organizations and South Asian diaspora groups stand in solidarity with the students and believe there can be no justice until their demands are met, which are: a permanent solution to the situation, a definitive cancellation of the deportations, and granting them permanent resident status. Nothing short of this is acceptable.

"These individuals who arrived in Canada as international students call Canada home and have become integral parts of our lives. They are an asset to our communities and should be living here without any hassle or threat of deportation," the letter adds. "Deportations are a long standing form of institutional racism, and are manifested in the violent and coercive practices of the state. This situation is yet another example of how the Canadian immigration system and CBSA fail people and produce undocumented migrants. This is why regularization is necessary."

Just like migrant justice and hundreds of civil society groups across Canada, the signatories of the joint letter call for a comprehensive, inclusive, and ongoing regularization program for all people with precarious status; all migrants should be given permanent resident status on arrival; migrants already here must be granted permanent residency.

The groups urge the minister to take prompt and decisive action to provide a permanent solution, and immediate regularization and permanent resident status for these students and all undocumented people across Canada.

"Without this, there can be no justice. Status for All, Dignity for All!"

The full letter can be accessed at


Signatories of the joint letter:

Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network), Toronto

Centre sur L'Asie du Sud (CERAS), Montréal

FCJ Refugee Centre

Immigrant Workers Centre/Centre Des Travailleurs Et Travailleuses Immigrants (IWC-CTTI), Montréal

India Civil Watch - International, Toronto

Migrante Alberta, Edmonton

Parkdale Community Legal Services, Toronto

Progressive Cultural Association, Calgary

Pro-People Arts Project Media Group (Sarokaran Di Awaz), Toronto

Punjabi Literary and Cultural Association, Winnipeg

Quebec Public Interest Research Group - Concordia University (QPIRG), Montréal

Rang Collective: Arts for Solidarity/Collectif Rang: Les Arts pour la Solidarité, Montréal

Shaheed Bhagat Singh Book Centre, Calgary

Solidarity Across Borders, Montréal

South Asian Dalit Adivasi Network - Canada, Toronto

South Asian Diaspora Action Collective (SADAC), Montréal

South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), Vancouver

South Asian Women's Community Center/Centre Communautaire Des Femmes Sud-Asiatiques (SAWCC-CCFSA), Montréal

Teesri Duniya Theatre, Montréal

Workers' Action Centre, Toronto

The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration was copied on the letter. Shafqat Ali, MP Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, MP Sukh Dhaliwal, MP Fayçal El-Khoury, MP Arielle Kayabaga, MP Tom Kmiec, MP Jenny Kwan, MP Marie-France Lalonde, MP Larry McGuire, MP Hon. Michelle Rempelle Garner, MP Brad Redekopp, MP Salma Zahid, MP

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