April 9, 2008
Is there going to be a new program for people without status?
I have had many questions surrounding this issue and have also been asked if Citizenship and Immigration Canada has done this before?
The answer is yes. I presented on this issue before the Citizenship and Immigration Standing Committee just yesterday. I am going to dedicate a few blog entries to this issue because there is a lot of interest. For this posting I will focus on the past.
Since 1960 Canada at least nine programmes directed at regularizing the status of undocumented persons although not always undocumented workers were launched including:
1. Chinese Adjustment Statement Program:1960-1972
2. Section 34 and the Immigration Appeal Board Act: 1968-1973
3. Adjustment of Status Program:1973
4. Special Regularization Program for Haitians in Quebec: 1981
5. Minister’s Review Committee:1983-1985
6. Administrative Review 1986
7. Backlog Clearance Program 1989
8. Deferred Removal Orders Class (DROC): 1994-1998
9. Special Regularization Procedure for Algerians in Quebec: 2002
These immigration programs ranged in size and scope from giving status to as few as 900 persons to over 100,000. Many required in person applications, good moral character and some form of lengthy residency.
The 1960 immigration programme guaranteed no prosecution or detention while the 1973 program was well advertised and as such received considerable response but only allowed a sixty day period in which to apply. As a result of the Backlog Clearance Program from 1986 to the end of 1992 approximately 160,000 applications were accepted.
So they existed in the past and have been very effective. In my next immigration blog I answer the question do we need a program in 2008?