This is the first community report from a collaborative research project conducted by the FCJ Refugee Centre and the CEP project. The report is based on a survey of 195 respondents, current or former recipients of services from FCJ. The survey examines the impacts of the pandemic on respondents and their families by tracking pre-pandemic to pandemic changes in several areas. This report focuses on changes in immigration status, work, housing, health and social supports.
The “FCJ-CEP COVID-19 project” is short for a project on “Non-Status migrant exclusion and responses under COVID-19 in the GTA.” The collaborative project is directed by Luin Goldring (York University) and Patricia Landolt (University of Toronto) in collaboration with the FCJ Refugee Centre. Francisco Rico-Martínez and Loly Rico, co-directors of the Centre, were engaged in developing the project. Diana Gallego and Natasha Rollings also directed the FCJ team. Francisco Rico-Martínez is deeply missed.
This project examines impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on precarious legal status migrants who live and/or work in Toronto. Precarious status includes people who lack authorization to live and/or work in Canada, as well as people with temporary and probationary statuses. The project builds on the academic team’s project on Citizenship and Employment Precarity.
The goals of the project are to:
- Study the experiences, impacts, and strategies of current and former non-status individuals and their families in the GTA for dealing with the global pandemic
- Contribute to knowledge about the differential impacts of the pandemic and lockdowns for this understudied and difficult to reach population
- Generate knowledge relevant to FCJ and other organizations working with and on non-status migrants
The research team used two data collection strategies. First, the team developed and implemented a telephone survey among the non-status and previously non-status households receiving support from the FCJ Refugee Centre. Second, the team conducted in-depth interviews with 27 of the survey respondents via zoom.
The first community report, Pandemic Precarities, presents data from the FCJ-CEP survey. A second report will offer an analysis of material from the in-depth interviews. These materials will also be posted on the FCJ website.
The research was supported by a SSHRC Partnership Engage COVID-19 Special Initiative grant and the FCJ Refugee Centre.