Temporary foreign worker restrictions in Alberta get mixed reaction, advocacy group says it will mean more undocumented migrants

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Luciano said migrants who are currently working as temporary foreign workers who aren’t able to get their permits renewed when they expire may decide to stay in the province while undocumented to avoid the socio-economic conditions of their countries.

“There’s a growing number of undocumented migrants in Alberta,” he said. “There are anecdotal numbers which range from 25,000 to 50,000 in the province alone, and it will continue to grow because of these restrictions,” he said.

Being undocumented would leave people in the province without the kind of social and health support that they used to qualify for and still need, particularly during a pandemic, he said.

He said the province should lobby the federal government to give migrant workers permanent status.

“Working in farms, for example, being a domestic worker or working at McDonald’s, those are not temporary jobs. Those are permanent jobs,” he said.

— with files from Dylan Short