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

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.

Red Cross raised concerns about Vancouver detention centre where Mexican woman died
Transit Police willing to discuss ID checks that could lead to deportation

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

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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Babies behind bars and other news and updates

Posted by admin on Jun 28th, 2015


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.

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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.

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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.

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Every School a Sanctuary

Posted by admin on Feb 15th, 2011

Rethinking Schools, Volume 25 Issue 2, Winter 2010

In the 1980s, as refugees from U.S.-sponsored wars in Central America sought safety in the United States—only to be declared “illegal aliens” by the government—progressive churches and communities throughout the country decided to become sanctuaries and offered protection. They were continuing the proud tradition of the Underground Railroad. When there is a gross violation of human rights, it is everyone’s obligation to provide protection and defense.

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Kader able to leave sanctuary!

Posted by admin on Oct 25th, 2009

Montreal, October 25 2009 – Justice for Kader!  Rabble podcast here.

On January 3, 2006, Abdelkader Belaouni took an inspirational stand against the unjust and discriminatory practices of Citizenship & Immigration Canada. Making his first public appearance at a press conference held at St. Gabriel’s church, where he had taken sanctuary 3 days earlier, Kader stated “I’m not hiding from Immigration Canada, but I want to tell them clearly, I will not be presenting myself for deportation. I’ve been able to achieve autonomy and dignity in Montreal, and I don’t want to lose that. My family are my friends here. I am here to defend myself; I am here to defend justice.”

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Sanctuary for war resister: Rodney Watson takes refuge in Vancouver church

Posted by admin on Oct 22nd, 2009

By Krystalline Kraus, October 22, 2009,

The battle to keep U.S. Iraq war resisters in Canada has been ongoing since January 2004 when Jeremy Hinzman first arrived in Canada and filed a refugee claim as a conscientious objector. Hinzman was the first U.S. Iraq resister to seek sanctuary in Canada as he and others face punishment under a charge of being Absent Without Official Leave (“going AWOL”) or for desertion under the Uniform Code of Military Justice for refusing to participate in the Iraq war for moral reasons.

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Algerian Mohamed Cherfi removed from church sanctuary is back in Quebec

Posted by admin on Aug 4th, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009, CBC News

An Algerian man arrested while in church sanctuary in Quebec City in 2004 and deported to the U.S. is back in Canada, this time with permanent resident status. Mohamed Cherfi’s story made headlines when he was arrested. He was the first person in recent history in Canada to be pulled out of church sanctuary by police. Now, after spending more than five years in the U.S., Cherfi is back in Quebec with his wife Louise Boivin, who has been living in Montreal while visiting her husband regularly in the U.S.

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Mikhail Lennikov vs Laibar Singh

Posted by admin on Jun 16th, 2009

No sanctuary from media double standards By Gurpreet Singh | June 16, 2009.

The case of the former Russian spy, Mikhail Lennikov, who has taken sanctuary in a Vancouver church to escape deportation has generated keen interest in the Indo Canadian community too. With the memories of the Laiber Singh story still fresh in their minds, many Indo Canadians believe that the mainstream media and politicians are treating Lennikov more decently.

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Ex-KGB man should stay, Canadians say in survey

Posted by admin on Jun 6th, 2009

By Darah Hansen, Vancouver Sun. June 6, 2009
Canadians believe Canada is wrong to deport Russian immigrant Mikhail Lennikov, a new national opinion poll shows. In an independent online survey by Angus Reid Strategies, 41 per cent of respondents nationally — and 55 per cent of those in British Columbia, where the case has generated widespread media attention — disagreed with the federal government’s decision to return Lennikov to Russia.

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Mikhail Lennikov: 10 common questions about deportation case

Posted by admin on Jun 5th, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009 By Terry Milewski, CBC News

Mikhail Lennikov’s self-described “very desperate act” — taking sanctuary in a church — has attracted wide public interest and more than 150 pages of commentary on Terry Milewski has been covering the story for CBC News and offers his take on some of the questions raised about the case.

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