Indian Students in Canada Protest Deportation Amidst Changes in Immigration Laws

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Indian Students in Canada Protest Deportation Amidst Changes in Immigration Laws

| Updated: May 20, 2024 14:09

Hundreds of Indian students studying in Canada’s Prince Edward Island are protesting against the threat of deportation following recent changes in provincial laws. The protest, which has entered its second week, is being described by the students as a “now-or-never situation”.

Despite the significant number of Indian students studying in Canada, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in India has stated that it has not received any reports or updates on mass deportations. “We are not aware of any major problem as far as students in Canada are concerned,” said MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal.

The students have taken to social media to voice their concerns and rally support. “2nd week of the protest and we are still strong. We don’t want free, we want fair,” posted Protest Pei, a social media handle representing the protesting students.

Prince Edward Island recently amended the rules of its Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP) to limit the number of immigrants, citing strain on healthcare and housing infrastructure. The students, however, accuse the provincial government of abruptly changing immigration rules and denying them work permits. Despite having graduated, these students now face potential deportation.

The protestors have called for an assembly meeting on May 23 at 175 Richmond Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to discuss their demands. They are calling for an extension of work permits and a review of the recent changes to immigration policies.

Rupinder Pal Singh, a leader of the protest who migrated to Canada from India in 2023, outlined the three main demands of the protestors. “Firstly, we demand to be grandfathered into the PNP system as we were already here, working on valid work permits, before the new rules were implemented,” Singh said. “Secondly, we call for fair PNP draws without a point system. Lastly, we demand an extension of our work permits.”

The protest by the immigrant students began on May 9 and continues to gain momentum.

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