The Communist Party joins the growing demand to stop the deportations of 15 international students from India who are currently living in Canada. These students, most of whom have lived, studied and worked in Canada for years, deserve to stay, and they deserve justice as the victims of fraud and a racist and exploitative immigration system.
The 15 students are part of a larger group of hundreds of international students who are being threatened with deportation for the supposed breach of immigration laws by signing fraudulent college admission letters. However, these letters were put together by “education agents” in India who received fees to help navigate Canadian immigration. These papers not only deceived the students but immigration officers as well. They learned that the letters were illegitimate after enrolling in school in Canada, but many students attended school anyway and worked for years. However, now Canada is saying that they will be deported and are ineligible for Permanent Residency.
The students have been victimized twice: once by fraudulent education agents in India, and again by an immigration system that has so far failed to deliver justice. The Canadian immigration system is designed to maintain an abundance of temporary immigration statuses in order to ensure a steady supply of precarious, non-union, low-wage workers to tamp down wages and working conditions for all. Universities, colleges and a growing number of private institutions are using international students as cash cows since international students pay up to four times as much in tuition fees. A major driver of this growing phenomenon is the underfunding of public post-secondary education which has been cut for the last four decades. The system is set up for maximum exploitation through xenophobic and racist divisions in the labour market where growing numbers of non-status and temporary status workers have no or fewer rights, which depresses working conditions across the board. This has created a system of hyper-exploitation where international students are recruited and prayed upon by profiteers abroad and schools and employers here in Canada.
The Naujawan Support Network (NSN), which formed out of solidarity actions with the farmers’ movement in India and started organizing against wage theft over the last two years, has taken up the fight. On May 29, the NSN and some of the affected students began a round-the-clock protest against the deportations outside the Canadian Border Services Agency in Mississauga. The first deportation is scheduled for June 13. Large rallies of thousands and daily gatherings of hundreds of community members standing in solidarity have occurred over the last week. The Communist Party urges labour and community organizations to join this important action and demand an immediate end to the deportations and status for these students.