Canada PR: Indian students facing deportation to join anti-hunger strike protest, say government has turned a deaf ear – what do they want?


As hundreds of Indian students continue to protest against a change in immigration laws in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island (PEI), some students have threatened to go on a dry hunger strike.

A dry hunger strike usually results in the person refraining from consuming liquids, which increases the health risk more than if they stopped eating solid food.

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

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The protesting Indian students have been on hunger strike for four days. Their unrest began on May 9.

During the unrest, 60 protesters demonstrated with placards and banners in front of the Colest Building in Prince Edward Island's parliament.

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

“No action has been taken. It looks like the government has turned a deaf ear,” said Sivia.

Two Indian students also testified before the Prince Edward Island Parliament against the immigration cuts policy.

The protesting students are considering intensifying their protests if the government refuses to meet their demands.

Demands of Indian students

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

The Indian students are demanding that those who arrived before July 2023 should be exempt from immigration cuts.

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About 50 Indian students had already left Canada due to the new immigration regulations. Blood count reported, citing an Indian student.

Rupinder Pal Singh, one of the protesting students, told CBC that some people had harassed the Indian students by throwing glasses and cans at them and pouring water on them while they were sleeping.

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

“And my friends who work here paid $2,500 for the same course. For two semesters. How reasonable is that, sir? I come here. This is the amount I paid extra. How interesting is that,” said Rupinderpal Singh. “In total, I paid around $30,000 for my tuition. For the same tuition, a person born and raised in Canada paid around $10,000,” said Singh. “$20,000 extra for the same thing and still suffer. How unfair is that?”

PEI’s new laws

Recently, the government of Prince Edward Island announced its decision to reduce the number of permanent resident workers from approximately 2,100 to 1,600 in 2024.

In addition, it was decided to reduce the number of people from other nations who are nominated for permanent residency in Canada through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

The number of nominees will also be reduced by 25 percent this year.

Prince Edward Island had stated that visas would only be extended for construction and health workers, as these were most needed in the province.

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