From The Globe (but behind a fire-wall):
Ottawa has ruled out amnesty for the estimated 200,000 undocumented workers toiling in Canada's underground economy, saying it would not be fair to those who have applied legally and are waiting in line, according to a letter obtained by The Globe and Mail.
I am not entirely unsympathetic to the government's concerns here. After all, if illegal immigrants are allowed to stay, then more people will arrive on our shores illegally. But there are a couple of mitigating factors in this case:
1) About 20,000 of the people in question work in Toronto, many in the construction sector. Another 20,000 work as house cleaners and cooks around the GTA. So these people have jobs that the locals do not, for the most part, want, and any crackdown on them, morality aside, could potentially remove 40,000 hands from the local labor force.
Of course that won't happen. While a few might be deported for show, most of these people will just be forced further underground, with their undocumented status hanging over their heads, and be subjected to various forms of degradation and abuse on that account.
2) The typical undocumented worker is Toronto is a male Portuguese between 20 and 45, likely to be unmarried with some secondary education. Because of this lack of a post-secondary schooling, they do not fit Canada's current profile of an "ideal immigrant". However, they tend to assimilate fairly quickly, gaining employment in line with their existing skill sets (often in the construction or home-building industry). This is something which is not as often the case with "high quality immigrants. Think of all the East Indian physicians driving cabs around TO.
So the fact that they are here illegally is a product of kinks in the Canadian immigration system more than any lack of effort on their own parts.