Canada PR: Indian students facing deportation to go on dry hunger stir, say ‘govt has become deaf’— what do they want?

Due to changes in the provincial laws related to immigration in Prince Edward Island province, hundreds of Indian students are facing deportation from Canada.

Livemint
First Published29 May 2024
Several Indian students in Prince Edward Island province have been on a hunger strike for the past four days. Their protest began on May 9.
Several Indian students in Prince Edward Island province have been on a hunger strike for the past four days. Their protest began on May 9.(File photo)

Amid the ongoing protest by hundreds of Indian students against a change in the provincial laws related to immigration in Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI) province, some students have threatened to go on a dry hunger strike.

A dry hunger strike usually means people do not ingest liquids, which accelerates the danger to their health more than if they stop taking in solid food.

Due to changes in provincial laws, hundreds of Indian students are facing deportation from Canada.

ALSO READ: Indian students facing 'deportation' up in arms in Canada

The protesting Indian students have been on a hunger strike for the past four days. Their stir began on May 9.

During the agitation, 60 protestors carrying posters and banners demonstrated in front of the Colest Building at the PEI legislature.

Jaspreet Singh Sivia, one of the protesters, has blamed the government for disrupting the lives of people who were already in the process of getting permanent residency (PR) in Canada, reported CBC. 

“There have been no actions taken. It looks like the government has become deaf,” said Sivia. 

Two Indian students also testified against the policy on immigration cuts in Prince Edward Island's Parliament.

The protesting students are mulling to intensify their stir if the government refuses to accept their demands.

Demands of Indian students 

The affected Indian students claimed that their opportunities were being taken away.

The Indian students are demanding that those who came before July 2023 should be exempted from the immigration cuts.

ALSO READ: Canada PNP draw: These 2 regions issue another 324 invitations this week

Around 50 Indian students had already left Canada because of the new immigration rules, CBC reported citing an Indian student.

Rupinder Pal Singh, one of the protesting students, told CBC that some people were harassing the Indian students by throwing glasses and cans at them and throwing water while they were asleep. 

According to Canadian news portal True North, Rupinderpal Singh said that as an immigrant, he had to suffer even after he had spent three times more on his education in Canada than Canadian students.

“And my friends who work here paid $2500 for the same course. For two semesters. How fit is that sir? This is where I come from. This is what I paid extra. How interesting is that,” Rupinderpal Singh said. “Altogether, I paid around $30,000 for my tuition. For the same schooling fee, a person born and raised in Canada paid around $10,000,” Singh said. “An extra $20,000 for the same thing, and still suffering. How unfair is that?”

PEI’s new laws

Recently, the Prince Edward Island government announced its decision to slash the number of workers for permanent residency from around 2,100 to 1,600 in 2024.

It also decided to cut the number of people from other nations who have been nominated for permanent residency in Canada through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

The number of nominees will also be slashed by 25 per cent this year.

The PEI had said that visas would be extended only for the construction and healthcare workers as they are the most needed by the province.

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