Border Rights for Refugees: A multilingual guide

Posted by admin on Apr 5th, 2017

Border Rights for Refugees

A free multilingual guide for non-U.S. citizens coming to Canada from the U.S. to make a refugee claim.

Share widely: https://noii-van.resist.ca/?p=6487

Thousands of refugees are crossing the Canada-U.S. border, many fleeing escalated sociopolitical, white supremacist, misogynist violence and I.C.E raids in the U.S.

In the first two months of this year, approximately 2000 refugee claims were filed at land ports of entry along the Canadian border. In Quebec alone there are six times more land-border refugee claims than in the same period last year. RCMP have intercepted or arrested (not yet charged) 1,134 refugees – nearly half as many asylum seekers in three months as all of the previous year.

Hundreds have been forced to cross irregularly under dangerous and life-threatening circumstances. People who have contacted us and our networks are primarily from Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Djibouti, Ghana, Nigeria, and Mexico.

The Canadian government and corporate media’s rhetoric about ‘welcoming refugees’ is misleading. There are many discriminatory and unjust barriers, such as the Safe Third Country Agreement that the Canadian government refuses to rescind, and a difficult legal system for refugees to navigate if coming through the U.S. This guide is to better inform and support those making the difficult decision to cross yet another colonial border.

The guide is produced by No One Is Illegal and the Immigration Legal Committee of the Law Union of Ontario. Supported by the African-Canadian Legal Clinic.

PDF of the English here

With professional translations in:
Arabic
Amharic
Chinese (Simplified Script)
Farsi
Filipino (Standardized)
French
Haitian Creole
Kurdish (Sorani)
Punjabi
Spanish
Somali
Tamil
Tigrinya
Twi
Urdu
Vietnamese

Freedom to stay, move, and return!

Letter to The Canadian Public From the Family Of Francisco Javier Romero Astorga

Posted by admin on Mar 26th, 2016

On Sunday, March 13, 2016, Francisco Javier Romero Astorga – our brother, our son – died in immigration detention custody. No one has told us how Francisco died, or why he was in prison. To date, no one from the federal Canadian government, including the Canada Border Services Agency, has contacted us. We do not know of an autopsy and no results of any tests or reasons for his death have been given to us.

All we know is that his body lies in a hospital, and that we must pay nearly $10,000 to bring his body home to give him a proper burial. Our brother, our son’s body has been in a hospital for ten days already, and we are in pain every minute that passes. Behind all this tragedy is a family and a mother who are grieving.

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Secrecy cloaks death of immigration detainee in Toronto jail

Posted by admin on Mar 10th, 2016

The death of a Burundian refugee being held in a Toronto jail sparks renewed calls for less secrecy and more transparency within the Canada Border Services Agency.

By: Debra Black, Immigration Reporter,

http://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2016/03/10/secrecy-cloaks-death-of-immigration-detainee-in-toronto-jail.html

A 64-year-old Burundian refugee, who was convicted of killing his wife in 2009, hanged himself at the Toronto East Detention Centre earlier this week as he awaited deportation, sources have told the Star.

It was the 13th death of an immigration detainee in Canada Border Services Agency custody since 2000. The death has sparked renewed calls for less secrecy and more transparency within the CBSA — as well as the creation of an oversight body to hold it to account.

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Changes coming soon to Citizenship Act, John McCallum says

Posted by admin on Feb 22nd, 2016

by Katharine Starr

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/mccallum-immigrants-citizenship-act-language-requirement-1.3453658

New immigrants to Canada may have an easier time qualifying for citizenship with changes coming in the next few weeks to the Citizenship Act, says Immigration Minister John McCallum.

“We are in general trying to reduce the barriers people have to overcome to become a citizen,” McCallum said in an interview on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics Thursday.

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Metro Vancouver hospitals refer hundreds of immigration cases to border police

Posted by admin on Feb 3rd, 2016

From January 2014 to October 2015, Fraser Health referred approximately 500 patients to the federal police force tasked with immigration enforcement.

by Travis Lupick on December 9th, 2015

http://www.straight.com/news/593441/metro-vancouver-hospitals-refer-hundreds-immigration-cases-border-police

Byron Cruz has encountered the sorts of situations that arise when someone is afraid a trip to a hospital could end with them being deported from the country.
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He once helped a man injured on a construction site connect with a veterinarian who stitched closed a deep cut, for example. And Cruz says it’s common for pregnant women to seek his network’s help for deliveries.

“My number works as a 911 number for undocumented people,” he said, interviewed at his office in the Downtown Eastside. “We never announced our services, but my number has been given to people as the number they can call. That is very scary, because 911 is for emergencies.”

Cruz is an organizer with Sanctuary Health, a group that promises people can access care without fear of any complication that might arise from their immigration status.

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Undocumented immigrants raise alarm as border cops appear to up enforcement towards year’s end

Posted by admin on Feb 3rd, 2016

by Travis Lupick on December 16th, 2015

http://www.straight.com/news/598146/undocumented-immigrants-raise-alarm-border-cops-appear-enforcement-towards-years-end

A sizable community of Metro Vancouver residents is on alert this holiday season, fearing raids by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

In a telephone interview, Harsha Walia, an organizer with No One Is Illegal (NOII), reported that the organization has seen a sharp spike in calls from undocumented immigrants asking for assistance.

“We usually get three to five calls a week, and the last month we got probably close to double,” she said. “We are getting more calls from people who are in detention, more calls from people who had just been visited at their homes or workplaces with deportation orders.”

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CBSA enforcement against immigrants on the rise in B.C.

Posted by admin on Feb 2nd, 2016

by Travis Lupick

http://www.straight.com/news/614931/cbsa-enforcement-against-immigrants-rise-bc

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) immigration-enforcement activities conducted in B.C. have intensified this year, an analysis of regional department data suggests.

CBSA recently supplied the Straight with statistics for the last two fiscal years (which run from April to March) plus the last nine months of 2015. Based on that data, the Straight estimates that CBSA Pacific region officers will have initiated 2,210 immigration investigations by March 31, 2016. That’s up from 1,843 during the previous fiscal year and 2,060 for 2013-14.

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Community Alert: Increased CBSA enforcement

Posted by admin on Nov 17th, 2015

Community Alert: Increased CBSA enforcement

Over the past two weeks, we have been contacted by a number of people who have had Canada Border Services Agency come to their workplaces and homes and a number of people who have been detained by Canada Border Services Agency. The number of support calls we receive regularly has also increased with more people reporting deportation orders coming up soon and a possible raid (unconfirmed) at a worksite on Marine Drive.

We don’t want to alarm people but we don’t want to let everyone know. To us this suggests increased CBSA enforcement, something we have witnessed in past years towards the end of the year.

For those in our communities who are at risk of CBSA enforcement, let us know if and how we can support you in staying safe. For anyone who witnesses CBSA vehicles or CBSA inland enforcement teams, please contact us. If you work in a workplace where you know of undocumented workers, please ask how best to support in case of a CBSA raid (safe exits, emergency contacts etc). We are deeply troubled and angered and saddened by these raids and invite others to join in the movement to end CBSA enforcement in our communities.

Babies behind bars and other news and updates

Posted by admin on Jun 28th, 2015

IMMIGRATION CHANGES:

It’s official – second class citizenship goes into effect

Last Friday, part of Bill C-24 went into effect, officially creating a two-tier citizenship system. As a result of this new law, dual citizens and people who have immigrated to Canada can have their citizenship taken away while other Canadians cannot. The government’s press release last week tried to justify this discriminatory law by raising the threat of “jihadi terrorism,” but Bill C-24 could easily be used against non-terrorists—for example, a journalist who is convicted of a “terrorism offence” in another country for reporting on human rights violations by the government.

Read more: https://bccla.org/2015/06/its-official-second-class-citizenship-goes-into-effect/

Hundreds make final bids to stay in Canada after deportation hold lifted

Mr. Lafleur is one of 3,500 people in Canada – 3,200 Haitians and 300 Zimbabweans – who were affected when the federal government lifted a hold on deportations to their home countries in December, deeming the situation in Haiti and Zimbabwe to be stable. Those without status were given six months to apply for residency on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/hundreds-make-final-bids-to-stay-in-canada-after-deportation-hold-lifted/article24728764/

New Tory legislation will force deportation of foreign criminals and strip them of refugee protection

The government’s plans is to change several acts to make it easier and faster to remove non-Canadian criminals out of Canada, including some who have already been accorded refugee protection and permanent residency status, he said.

Read more: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/new-tory-legislation-will-force-deportation-of-foreign-criminals-and-strip-them-of-refugee-protection

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How Human Rights Organizations Are Implicated in Migrant Deaths

Posted by admin on Apr 23rd, 2015

https://nacla.org/blog/2015/04/23/how-human-rights-organizations-are-implicated-migrant-deaths

by Joseph Nevins

The deaths of unauthorized migrants have long scarred the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. But as evidenced by a single incident on Sunday, April 19, the Mediterranean is the global epicenter of such fatalities.

An estimated 850 migrants—from a variety of countries, including Eritrea, Syria, Sierra Leone, and Bangladesh— perished when their less-than-seaworthy vessel capsized in the waters between Libya and the Italian island of Lampedusa. According to one report, “authorities described a grisly scene of bodies floating and sinking in the warm waters, with the majority of the dead apparently trapped in the ship at the bottom of the sea.”

In response, Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, borrowed a page from the talking points of U.S. authorities by pointing the finger at migrant smugglers. Using words that obscure how the growing strength of the European Union’s border policing apparatus—what many call “Fortress Europe”—effectively requires migrants to rely on professional smugglers and take ever-riskier routes to reach their hoped-for destinations, Renzi called smugglers “the slave drivers of the 21st century.”

It is hardly surprising that officials charged with policing national territorial boundaries do not indict the very system that kills migrants: the nation-state and its associated apparatus of exclusion for those deemed undesirable or unworthy. In the case of international human rights organizations, however, one can and should expect much better. Instead, one gets (at best) handwringing and calls for governments to make greater efforts to rescue endangered migrants. Meanwhile, these same organizations uphold and legitimize the very practices that make migrant fatalities inevitable, and thus help reproduce them.

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