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Deportations & Illegal Immigration

Working for Years Without Status

Q. I do not have my immigration papers in Canada. I came here five years ago and I work as a plumber. I hear there is a new program for people like me and Canada did this before for workers without papers. I trust what you say- is this true?

A. It is amazing how word gets out. But no there is not a new program for illegal workers. There are government meetings going on and I testified before the Citizenship and Immigration Standing Committee on this issue of undocumented workers yesterday. There are estimates of 80,000 to 500,000 undocumented workers in Canada and many are filling essential jobs in Canada so the Government is looking at the issue. I will share with my readers the plan I proposed to the Committee over the next few issues. To answer your second question yes there have been at least nine such programs in the past including: Chinese Adjustment Statement Program:1960-1972 Section 34 and the Immigration Appeal Board Act: 1968-1973 Adjustment of Status Program:1973 Special Regularization Program for Haitians in Quebec: 1981 Minister’s Review Committee:1983-1985 Administrative Review 1986 Backlog Clearance Program 1989 Deferred Removal Orders Class (DROC): 1994-1998 Special Regularization Procedure for Algerians in Quebec: 2002. Many programmes required in person applications, good moral character and some form of lengthy residency. As a result of the Backlog Clearance Program from 1986 to the end of 1992 approximately 160,000 applications were accepted.

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