The CAQ has decided to backtrack on changing its student immigration policies after receiving a lot of negative backlash over it.\nMany foreign students would have been negatively affected if the CAQ went through with its changes to the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ).\nRead the online reactions below!\nVisit MTLBlog for more headlines.\nAfter a huge public outcry, the CAQ has once again backtracked on an unpopular reform as part of its immigration plan. A few days ago, the CAQ made changes to an immigration program that made it easier for foreign students to become permanent residents. The changes, which were to go into effect between November and January, further limited the number of study programs and career paths the government accepted for applicants to the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ).\nToday, Minister of Immigration, Francisation and Integration, Simon Jolin-Barrette backtracked on enforcing these changes for people who are already in Quebec and participating in the program. The PEQ is an immensely popular program and the CAQ's tightening of its rules and procedures would have left many foreign students in the lurch.\nAlong with yesterday's announcement that new arrivals to Quebec will only receive services in French, the government quietly reformed the PEQ, slashing the number of professions that qualify from 500 to 162. This announcement and the changes weren't approved by CAQ leader Francois Legault, according to CBC News.\nCritics warn that these reforms will hurt key industries in the province such as technology and computer science. In many cases, these are world-renowned programs that have historically attracted many immigrants to study in Quebec.\nJolin-Barrette claims that he had a change of heart after hearing the testimony of foreign students who will be affected by the changes to the PEQ.\nThe PEQ is a program that allows foreign students to apply for permanent residency once they graduate. This fast-track to residency is immensely popular and allows foreign students to work and live in the province of their choice.\nHier ni le PM Legault ni le leader #CAQ n’ont été capables de regarder dans les yeux les victimes de leur décision.Ce matin, devant une crise médiatique d’ampleur, le gouv a été forcé de reculer partiellement sur cette honteuse réforme de l’immigration.#PLQ #PolQc #AssNat— Parti libéral du Québec (@LiberalQuebec) November 6, 2019\nTranslation: Yesterday, neither PM Legault nor the #CAQ leader were able to look into the eyes of the victims of their decision. This morning, in the face of a massive media crisis, the government was forced to partially backtrack on this shameful immigration reform.\nJolin-Barrette bowed to public pressure as thousands of students and Quebecers reacted negatively to the news. Originally, the reforms would've forced students to leave the province and uproot their lives.\n"We're abandoned right now."Jin Xing, a 36-year-old drafting student, says that students who came to Quebec to build a life here are having their lives upended as the province plans to reform the Quebec experience program.More: https://t.co/jqqrKAoQuX#polqc pic.twitter.com/I45nNPrnd5— CBC Montreal (@CBCMontreal) November 5, 2019\nThe Minister will now allow those who are still in school to finish their studies and qualify for the PEQ. Changes will still be made, however, and new students will not have the same benefits as before.\nIt really seems the CAQ playbook is to propose broad, vague, horrible policies, clarify it some time later to remove the worst parts, and then act like they've reached a reasonable solution without ever discussing the substance.— Jules (@namebrandloser) November 6, 2019\nEssentially, the reforms will funnel every foreign student who graduates in Quebec to apply for residency through the Skilled Worker Program rather than the PEQ. With even more restrictions in the Skilled Worker Program, many students feel that they'll have to leave the province.\nREAD ALSO: The CAQ Says New Arrivals To Quebec Cannot Receive Government Services In English\nAccording to the program, graduates must meet the following criteria:\nDemonstrate advanced intermediate knowledge of spoken French;\n\n\nUndertake to provide for their basic needs and, where applicable, those of their spouse or de facto spouse and dependent children included in their application for permanent selection, for a minimum period of three months;\n\n\nBe at least 18 years old, hold a valid passport and, if they are applying from Quebec, be legally in Quebec at the time of application;\n\n\nIntend to settle in Quebec to hold a job;\n\n\nHave stayed temporarily in Quebec for the primary purpose of studying and have respected the conditions of their stay;\n\n\nHave completed at least 900 hours of full-time study in Quebec or, if their attestation or diploma attests to over 1,800 hours of study, they must have lived in Quebec for at least half of the duration of their study program;\nEntendu dans une ligne ouverte..."Chu pas raciste, mais c'est normal que les immigrants aient moins de droits que les Québécois"...Bravo tout le monde...#polqc #assnat #CAQ— (((Antagoniste))) (@Antagoniste_net) November 6, 2019\nTranslation: Heard in an open line ... "I'm not racist, but it's normal that immigrants have fewer rights than Quebecers" ... Bravo, everyone...\nWhen asked if students would be eligible for a "grandfather clause," Jolin-Barrette dismissed the question and said that his new plan is bold and ambitious.\nAs mentioned, the Minister apparently didn't get approval from the CAQ brass to proceed with these reforms. Which begs the question, was it really the public who put pressure on Jolin-Barrette or was it his bosses?\nIt's important to note that students who are still in school will still be able to qualify for the PEQ, so long as they meet the selection criteria.\nIs this how we, as Canadians, want to be remembered in history? It started with Bill 21 and now this. Is this how CAQ want to help integrate new Canadians? https://t.co/PIiubbzeTl— Simarpreet Singh (@Sciensingh) November 5, 2019\nStudents, however, are still highly confused and worried about their futures in a province that once welcomed them with open arms.\nHello, i’m so desperate about the unexpected reform in the immigration policy that happened lately this month in Quebec city, this change of the law affects a lot of students and qualified workers more than 16K , this is not fair to all of us #PEQinjustice— wael (@wael45060983) November 3, 2019\nHow many people are the victims of the CAQ? - 18,000 immigration applications trashed - flood victims (with improperly made maps) - taxi cab drivers whose finances were obliterated - visible religious minorities' careers - foreign students dreams#assnat #qcpoli #polqc— YAC (@yacius) November 6, 2019\nMany critics are accusing the CAQ of installing highly authoritarian and divisive measures in an effort to stop immigration in the province.\nIndeed. How can we expect freshly arrived #immigrants to speak and understand #french the day they arrive on #Quebec soil? Is this another way to discourage #immigration ? @SJB_CAQ #polqc https://t.co/YjaQ1330qX— Georgia Vrakas, Ph.D. She/Her (@GeorgiaVrakas) November 6, 2019\nThe CAQ hasn't been shy about its heavy-handed approach to immigration reform and has installed numerous controversial rules and regulations.\nThis isn't the first time that the CAQ or its members have backtracked on hastily announced changes.\nYesterday, I bet a friend $20 that SJB would backpedal by Wednesday. This isn’t the first time this minister introduces hasty, badly-thought-out legislation and has to backtrack after facing intense criticism. The damage to #Quebec’s reputation sadly remains. #PEQ #qcpoli #polqc https://t.co/3DYEimPktY— Toula Drimonis (@ToulasTake) November 6, 2019\nIt will be interesting to see to what extent the CAQ and Jolin-Barrette reform the PEQ rules and regulations. For many people, it seems counterintuitive, backwards, even, to impose such strict regulations on foreign students who can provide a huge boon to the job market in Quebec.\nI really can’t stress enough how much the CAQ can kiss my anglophone ass— lyss (@lysssmk) November 6, 2019\nThe CAQ is simultaneously taking a full-frontal assault from Anglophone minority groups and immigrant minority groups so the next few months will certainly be interesting for the province.