To mark World Refugee Day, the Multicultural Mentorship Committee (MMC) reached out to Ellamor Alejandro, a Legal Administrative Assistant at a private immigration office. Ellamor shared her thoughts on the state of immigration for refugees during COVID-19.
In my line of work I am tasked with helping clients build their future in Canada. I help temporary foreign workers get their work permits, and help international students get study permits and Post Graduate Work Permits. I have worked in this field for over four years now. I must say it’s a very rewarding job as well because you get to help individuals and families fulfill their dreams of settling down in Canada for a better life.
We help our refugee clients achieve their permanent status by applying for a work permit, which enables them to work legally and at the same time enjoy the benefits which they deserve. We also guide their application for permanent residency while on work permit.
In international treaties and as defined by the Canadian federal department of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees, a “refugee” is a person who has fled their country because of a well-founded fear of persecution. They are not able to return home. They have seen or experienced many horrors. The risks to their safety and life were so great that they felt they had no choice but to leave and seek safety outside their country because their own government cannot help or will not protect them from those dangers.
During this pandemic, globally, refugees are the most vulnerable people. Not everyone gets a shelter or roof on their head to protect themselves. Most refugees have been living in refugee camps which are dense and over populated. There is no way that people can practice social distancing in a place like that.
In my opinion, the best thing our community can do for refugees is to treat them equally as any other person. We must not make them feel different or feel like outsiders. We must welcome them into the community, as is the Canadian way.
Refugees deserve the freedom to live successful and fully integrated lives here in Canada and to rebuild their dreams which were lost when they fled their home country.