Ottawa weighs citizenship path for undocumented migrants

The federal cabinet is mulling a plan to give thousands of undocumented migrants in Canada official citizenship status.

Catch-up: Under the proposal, people who entered Canada legally but stayed after their visas expired (including international students) are expected to be eligible for official status.

  • While there’s no concrete tally, the number of undocumented migrants in Canada is estimated to be as high as 500,000. 

Why it matters: The government signaled as early as 2021 that it would look to give undocumented migrants a path to citizenship, but the move now comes amid a sharp downturn in public support for immigration.

Yes, but: Advocates argue that offering undocumented workers citizenship could inject billions into the economy by freeing them up to find better-paying jobs. It could also create a new stream of tax revenue by reducing under-the-table cash payments.—LA