We in the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) congratulate and send our warmest solidarity to the leaders and members of Migrante Canada on the event of your 3rd Congress.
This day will mark yet another success and a big step forward in the growing movement of migrant workers, immigrants and refugees in Canada. Not only is your congress significant to Canada’s Filipino migrants but to all migrants of various nationalities here and in the world.
The word “migrante” now pertains to Filipinos living and working abroad who have become critical about their and their peers’ conditions, build solidarity with their local brethren, and find ways to raise consciousness and means to challenge and even to change them for the better. It is now synonymous to words like “struggling”, “asserting”, human rights, genuine change.
Genuine change and the struggle for it is important as we face the brutal attacks of imperialist globalization. Through multilateral and bilateral agreements carried out in international platforms and meetings, neoliberal policies are imposed in both migrant-receiving countries like Canada and migrant-sending countries to facilitate labor migration.
This labor migration we know is forced. It is the same neoliberal policies that drive the migrant workers away from their loved ones to find work abroad, put cheap prices on their heads without any hope of living and working humanely, and place them in vulnerable conditions.
Canada is no alien to discrimination, abuse and exploitation of immigrants and migrant workers. While it is boasted to have reached great strides in making immigration policy easier and better, harrowing stories of racism, labor exploitation and malpractices, and existing anti-migrant policies happen. This reality is something not seen and exposed to people who see Canada as the new United States, as the new land of milk and honey.
Meanwhile, the Philippine government stops at nothing to sell us out. Already, 18 million, or around 10% of the total Filipino population, live and work outside the country. Such a figure tells of the growing misfortune Filipinos face in a society that is semi-feudal and semi-colonial, in a society whose government adheres to foreign nations’ aspirations and is governed by their policies and impositions, lives on corruption, cronyism and political patronage, and sees their citizens as the best assets to export and sell at a cheap price.
It then becomes a very urgent call and need for the whole membership of Migrante Canada to take on this fight – expose the fatally wrong system that breeds cheap, docile migrants, gather the biggest number of migrants of Filipino descent and of other nationalities in fighting and winning campaigns against discrimination, human rights abuses and labor exploitation, and building the strongest solidarity to effect genuine social change.
We look forward to receiving your great stories of struggle and success in the upcoming 3rd General Assembly of the IMA in November 2015. We hope that you will be able to mobilize the biggest number of your delegation together with other existing and even prospective IMA members for this assembly.
Let us continue in actively reaching for that dream where we need not be separated from our families just for survival, for a society that is prosperous, knows, promotes and upholds equality, and founded on justice and peace.
Long live Migrante Canada!
Long live the migrants and our families!
Long live international solidarity!