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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Immigration guide for detecting marriage fraud called ‘racist and offensive’

The three-page training guide, titled “Evidence of Relationship,” lists clues officers should look for in assessing a spousal sponsorship application. Ostensible warning signs that it’s a sham marriage include: couples who are not depicted kissing on the lips in their wedding photos; university-educated Chinese nationals who marry non-Chinese; a small wedding reception in a restaurant; a Canadian sponsor who is relatively uneducated, with a low-paying job or on welfare.

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Tories Float Idea Of Forcing Women To Unveil To Get Public Services

The federal government says it will consider introducing legislation to force members of the public to unveil themselves in order to obtain federal services. “Canadians would agree that, when you’re either receiving or giving public services, you would have your face uncovered,” Multiculturalism Minister Tim Uppal told reporters.

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Transgender Canadians can now self-identify on citizenship documents without sex-reassignment surgery

Canadians no longer need to undergo sex-reassignment surgery in order to change the gender marker on their citizenship certificate under new reforms from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. As of February, those wishing to change their gender on the certificate need only now submit provincially or territorially-issued documentation such as amended birth certificate.

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Deaf teen deemed ‘medically inadmissible’ to join mother in Canada
Filipino caregiver Karen Talosig is faced with the choice of giving up her teenage daughter in the Philippines or her dream of permanent residence in Canada. After waiting in the queue for her immigrant status for five years, Talosig received a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada this week that her 14-year-old daughter, Jazmine, has been found “medically inadmissible” to join her in Canada because she is deaf.

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Canadian citizen asks court to declare him… Canadian citizen

On Tuesday, May 26, Canadian citizen Deepan Budlakoti went to court in an effort to be recognized as a Canadian citizen. Although he was born in Canada, the federal government, in a remarkably obtuse and obstinate campaign, has rendered him stateless and tried to shove him off to his ancestral India, where he has never lived and has no family.

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Undocumented mother lives under the radar

Guadalupe’s life is a tightrope act, precariously balanced between hope and fear. Hope that one day, she and her children will enjoy the freedoms Canadians take for granted. Fear that at any moment, she could be caught and deported back to Mexico. Chatting over a cup of coffee in a busy café, the middle-age former hairdresser looks like any other Montrealer out on a hot spring day. But unlike the carefree strangers around her, she has a terrible secret. Guadalupe (not her real name) is living in Canada illegally. Her employer doesn’t know. Her landlord doesn’t know. And most of her friends don’t know.

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I came to Canada for asylum, but I still feel lost here

Another day, the teacher asked me how I was, and I replied that I had a headache. She told me that in Canada, when asked how I am, I should reply that I’m well. We were made to feel that we were not “Canadian” although many of us were citizens or permanent residents. After a few weeks, we even began to feel embarrassed about our lunches, as a teacher taught us that Canadians do not like food odours. Another teacher would ask us every Monday what we had done the previous weekend without understanding that most of us didn’t have money to go out. Eating at a restaurant is very expensive, and travelling outside of the Great Toronto Area (GTA) is almost impossible. I had nothing to contribute to that conversation.

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Debunking Four Racist Myths about Migrant Workers

History shows us that in times of economic hardship, people often blame foreigners.

Myth #1 – Deporting migrant workers will fix unemployment
Myth #2 – Migrant workers are a burden on welfare and other government programs.
Myth #3 – Temporary foreign workers are criminals “stealing” jobs. Myth #4 – Migrants aren’t properly educated.

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The immigration system isn’t broken; it’s working for corporate interests

In a recent landmark case, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario awarded over $200,000 to two Mexican migrant women for sexual harassment,
discrimination, and a sexually poisoned work environment. This is the largest damages award in the tribunal’s history. Thirty-nine female temporary foreign workers from Mexico who came to work for Presteve Foods Ltd., a fish processing plant, initially filed the case in 2007. A number of women settled prior to the case being heard.

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Clinic launched ‘where care matters more than a (health) card’

The new 2,800-square-foot facility will house a medical clinic, a dental clinic, pediatric services, midwifery and diagnostic imaging programs, chiropractic and massage services, and a foot care clinic all under one roof. It will be run by medical professionals volunteering their time and will serve some of the GTA’s most vulnerable residents — the undocumented and uninsured.

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BCTF’s sanctuary schools policy

“When we talk about these students and their families we tend to think that the most vulnerable are just those who are poor but the truly invisible are those who come to our cities and countries and for whatever reason they don’t get status, and they’re scared that if they have children and they want to be educated they might be found out and they feel that Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) will come and take them away,” says Wai, who is also a member of the Committee for Action on Social Justice, an anti-racism subcommittee as part of the BCTF. “And they would have to be deported and leave the country.” As a result, Wai and others presented a draft proposal to the Vancouver Secondary Teachers’ Association in early May. They detailed their desire to work with the Vancouver School Board on a sanctuary schools policy for students without status.

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What are babies doing behind bars in Canada?

Like most toddlers, Alpha Anawa likes toys, cereal, and making new friends. Curious and bright-eyed, the two-year-old has never been to a beach, ridden on a merry-go-round, or been out of his mother’s sight. The first time he saw a car, he was petrified. The only life he has ever known has been spent behind barbed wire.

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Canada’s rising immigrant detentions operate in a legal black hole, report says

Canada’s rising detention of non-criminal foreigners in maximum-security prisons amounts to arbitrary, cruel and inhumane treatment that violates international obligations, a disturbing new report concludes. The report by the University of Toronto’s International Human Rights Program finds that Canada Border Services Agency has become more heavy handed in dealing with migrants with little or no accountability.

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Feds spend $265M over 5 years on controversial detainee program

The Conservative government has spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars over five years to continue its often criticized practice of detaining potential immigrants and refugee claimants.

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Who killed Abdurahman Ibrahim Hassan? Black Lives, Racisms, Police & Immigration

A week ago, Abdurahman Ibrahim Hassan, a 39 year old Somali man died in immigration detention custody after being denied adequate medical care, and then being ‘restrained’ by border and prison officials. Hassan, as he was known to his friends, came to Canada from Mogadishu in 1993 as a teenager. He was granted refugee status, but according to family members, didn’t gain permanent resident status because of his mental illness.

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Border Services must lift the veil of secrecy: Editorial

As the Star’s Nicholas Keung reports, we know most of this because his family chose to make public Hassan’s name, plus the details of his life and years in custody, a week after he died. But until they spoke out a veil of secrecy shrouded his death. Officials refused to make public his name, or provide any real detail. To this day the family hasn’t a clue as to what happened to Hassan, who was 39, why he was in hospital, and what caused his death.

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Annual Unist’ot’en Action Camp

The Unis’tot’en Clan is re-occupying their land near Smithers in northern BC, Canada. The camp’s log cabin, traditional pit house, bunkhouse and forest permaculture garden stand blocking the pipeline route to the port of Kitimat. The campers are blocking the way for two proposed gas pipelines and the Enbridge Northern Gateway tarsands pipeline.

If you want to register for our 6th Annual Action Camp please feel free to contact the folks at and

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Has it Right on Canadian Citizenship

For myself personally, I could not care less if a new citizen does not know the full name of our Prime Minister. Prime Ministers come and go. However, for a new citizen not to know of the events surrounding Residential Schools or know of at least the names of two Aboriginal bands in Canada, is inexcusable.

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TRC report a good start, but now it’s time for action

The formulaic response to these moments of clarity and accompanying opportunity has been tacit acceptance, followed closely by delay and obfuscation, then apathy, and finally the status quo. It is a tradition in this country to ignore progressive solutions to the Canadian problem. This aversion is rooted in a resistance to sacrificing privilege and sharing power.

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The Making of the Migration Crisis

It is not a coincidence that migrant deaths are increasing every year, or that they happen at all. Migrants are dying at borders and in detention centers precisely because militarized borders and exclusionary immigration policies are intended to make their bodies, journeys and humanities vulnerable and expendable.

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Video: What you should know about Immigration detention

On any given day, up to 34,000 undocumented immigrants are held in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers.

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I interrupted Obama because we need to be heard

I was fortunate to be invited to the White House to listen to President Obama’s speech recognizing the LGBTQ community and the progress being made. But while he spoke of ‘trans women of color being targeted,’ his administration holds LGBTQ and trans immigrants in detention. I spoke out because our issues and struggles can no longer be ignored.

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EU draws up plans for military attacks on Libya targets to stop migrant boats

The European Union has drawn up plans for military attacks in Libya to try to curb the influx of migrants across the Mediterranean by targeting the trafficking networks. It is to launch a bid on Monday to secure a UN mandate for armed action in Libya’s territorial waters. Britain is drafting the UN security council resolution that would authorise the mission, said senior officials in Brussels. It would come under Italian command, have the participation of around 10 EU countries, including Britain, France, Spain, and Italy, and could also drag in Nato although there are no plans for initial alliance involvement.

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60 Million People Fleeing Chaotic Lands, U.N. Says

Nearly 60 million people have been driven from their homes by war and persecution, an unprecedented global exodus that has burdened fragile countries with waves of newcomers and littered deserts and seas with the bodies of those who died trying to reach safety. The new figures, released Thursday by the United Nations refugee agency, paint a staggering picture of a world where new conflicts are erupting and old ones are refusing to subside, driving up the total number of displaced people to a record 59.5 million by the end of 2014, the most recent year tallied.

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