Authors: Anjana Aery & Rebecca Cheff
The global Sanctuary City movement calls on cities to be leaders in providing access to services and a safe haven for individuals without immigration status. In Canada, non-status individuals have restricted or no access to public services and have limited protections under legislation. This can leave non-status individuals in a vulnerable situation that can negatively impact their health and well-being. A number of Canadian cities are now becoming sanctuary cities by committing to providing services to all residents regardless of immigration status. Becoming Canada’s first Sanctuary City in 2013, Toronto is a leader in supporting residents without status. This think piece provides an overview of the Sanctuary City movement and explores how Toronto’s Sanctuary City policy can advance health and health equity by improving access to services and fostering an inclusive city.