Feb 11, 2013

The marginalization of undocumented workers in Toronto poses a serious threat to the health of these members of our community.

An estimated 200,000 undocumented workers reside in Toronto. They face many challenges including denial of services offered to other Torontonians, including health services, housing, and social supports. Individuals without legal status are particularly likely to have to accept work for low wages, under poor and unsafe work conditions.  Studies have identified high levels of anxiety, depression, and physical illness in this population.

Undocumented workers abide by our laws, pay taxes, and make significant contributions to our community. They perform jobs that have benefited many of us, without being recognized for the difficult working conditions experienced. Yet, they are not afforded the same access to health and social services as those with legal status. It’s time for this to change.

Last week, the Community Development and Recreation Committee heard from the Solidarity City Network and adopted motion 18.5, which commits the City of Toronto to providing city services to undocumented workers. It also mandates that City Council advocate on behalf of undocumented workers in Toronto at the provincial and federal levels.

This motion will be considered by Toronto City Council on February 20th, 2013.

We invite you to e-mail or call your City Councilor to express your support for the Access Not Fear campaign. Then, join us at Toronto City Hall on February 20th, 2013.

The Solidarity City Network is comprised of Health for All, Immigration Legal Committee of Toronto, Justice for Migrant Workers, Law Union of Ontario, No One Is Illegal – Toronto, Parkdale Community Legal Services, Roma Community Centre, Social Planning Toronto, South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, South Asian Women’s Rights Organization, and the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office and Workers Action Centre.

Download a PDF version of the Press Release