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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An inexcusable travesty: Canada sent a Syrian minor to solitary confinement

Posted by admin on Feb 22nd, 2016

by Carmen Cheung and Samer Muscati

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/an-inexcusable-travesty-canada-sent-a-syrian-minor-to-solitary-confinement/article28781118/

In early January, Mohamed, a 16-year-old Syrian, arrived in Canada, alone. His parents had made a risky decision: They sent him to Canada in the hope of finding safety after learning that the country was accepting 25,000 Syrian refugees. A few weeks earlier, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was at Toronto’s main airport, personally greeting the first planeload of refugees. Mohamed’s reception by Canadian officials was a little different: The Canada Border Services Agency immediately apprehended and delivered him to the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre, where he was placed in isolation for three weeks.

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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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Interim Federal Health Program Restored

Posted by admin on Feb 19th, 2016

http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1034619&tp=1

February 18, 2016—Ottawa, ON – All refugees and asylum claimants will soon benefit from full health-care coverage through a restored Interim Federal Health Program, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum, announced today.

Starting April 1, 2016, the Interim Federal Health Program will provide health-care coverage for all eligible beneficiaries – including basic, supplemental, and prescription drug coverage. Similar to provincial/territorial health-care insurance, the coverage will include hospital and physician services. Coverage for supplemental health-care services, such as vision and urgent dental care, and for prescription drugs, will be similar to what the provinces and territories provide to Canadians who receive social assistance.

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Migrant Worker Voices Must be Central to Review of Foreign Worker Program

Posted by admin on Feb 19th, 2016

http://migrantrights.ca/en/migrant-worker-voices-must-be-central-to-review-of-foreign-worker-program/

Open work permits, family reunification and permanent immigration status on landing for Seasonal Agricultural Workers, Caregivers and Temporary Foreign Workers remain priorities.

Canada, February 18, 2016 – The Coalition for Migrant Worker Rights Canada (CMWRC), the representative alliance of migrant worker groups across the country, is responding to Minister Mihychuk’s statements in the mainstream media about forthcoming review of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program by calling for further details, including timelines, migrant worker involvement and scope of the review. Migrant worker advocates have been calling for Mobility, Voice and Equality for Migrant Workers, including open work permits; an end to discriminatory Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) regulations like the 4 in and 4 out rule; and permanent immigration status on landing.

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Temporary foreign workers program faces federal review

Posted by admin on Feb 19th, 2016

by Robert Fife

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/temporary-foreign-workers-program-faces-federal-review/article28792323/
The Liberal government plans to launch a full-scale review of the controversial temporary foreign workers program.

MaryAnn Mihychuk, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, told The Globe and Mail she will ask a parliamentary committee for proposals to fix the program.
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Greek match delayed as players stage sit-down protest over migrant deaths

Posted by admin on Feb 4th, 2016

  • All 22 players sit in silence before AEL Larissa versus Acharnaikos
  • Club attacks ‘brutal indifference of EU and Turkey’ to refugee crisis

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2016/jan/30/greek-match-delayed-players-sit-down-protest-migrant-deaths

 

A Greek second-tier league match was delayed on Friday when players staged a sit-down protest against the death toll of migrants trying to reach the Aegean islands.

The gesture of solidarity took place before the game between AEL Larissa and Acharnaikos in the Thessalian city of Larissa.

As the match kicked off all 22 players plus coaches and substitutes sat in silence for two minutes in a show of respect to the hundreds of refugees who have lost their lives trying to escape conflict or persecution in countries such as Syria and Iraq.

An announcement over the club’s PA system stated: “The administration of AEL, the coaches and the players will observe two minutes of silence just after the start of the match in memory of the hundreds of children who continue to lose their lives every day in the Aegean due to the brutal indifference of the EU and Turkey.
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Refugees motivated but needs higher than thought: report

Posted by admin on Feb 4th, 2016

By Joanna Frketich

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/6255805-refugees-motivated-but-needs-higher-than-thought-report/
Syrian refugees have higher needs than originally expected, states a federal government report.

More than half of those applying to be government assisted are children.

About three-quarters speak no English or French.

The refugees are resourceful and highly motivated to work to the point that they’ve risked arrest in Jordan.

But only the men have experience and mostly in “low-skilled” jobs.
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Aegean Sea refugee crossings rise 35 fold year-on-year in January – watchdog

Posted by admin on Feb 3rd, 2016

by Damien Gayle

More than 52,000 crossed in January, says IOM, as Merkel defends open-door policy and says most refugees will eventually return home

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/30/refugee-arrivals-greece-exceed-52000-january

More than 52,000 refugees and migrants crossed the eastern Mediterranean to reach Europe in the first four weeks of January, more than 35 times as many as attempted the crossing in the same period last year.

The daily average number of people making the crossing is nearly equivalent to the total number for the whole month of January as recently as two years ago, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

More than 250 people have died attempting to make the crossing this month, including at least 39 who drowned in the Aegean Sea on Saturday morning after their boat capsized between Turkey and Greece.

Turkish coastguards rescued 75 others from the sea near the resort of Ayvacik on Saturday, according to the Anadolou news agency. They had been trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos.
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