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Canada doubled its rejections of permanent residence applications under humanitarian grounds, from 35 per cent in 2019 to nearly 70 per cent in early 2021, according to new data released Tuesday by the Migrant Rights Network. Advocates are calling it a “grave concern” that disproportionately affects racialized, low-wage migrants. “Permanent residence status is the only mechanism to ensure migrants have equal rights. By doubling rejections, Prime Minister Trudeau is doubling the potential for exploitation,” Syed Hussan, the Migrant Rights Network Secretariat, said during a video press conference on Tuesday. “The simplest first thing to do is regularize and give permanent residency to all migrants already in the country, including undocumented people. Instead, we see immigration officials arbitrarily doing the opposite,” he said. At issue are immigration applications made under humanitarian and compassionate grounds. These grounds include discrimination in the applicant’s country of origin, having spent a long time in Canada working or volunteering, and raising a child whose life is rooted in this country.

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