The old anti-immigrant game

Posted by admin on Sep 24th, 2010

Published On Fri Sep 24 2010, Toronto Star

News item: Canada’s minister responsible for immigration has been on an important overseas mission to lobby for new restrictions on the unscrupulous practices of many recruiters. These international measures will combine with major new Canadian laws to assert more control over immigration agents. The move comes after a series of sensational cases of underhanded and possibly criminal activities by immigration promoters. Although this may sound like a story about Jason Kenney’s current trip abroad and the Conservative government’s recent policy announcements, it’s actually a description of events in 1906. The minister in question was future prime minister Mackenzie King, sent to London to lobby the imperial Parliament to pass new laws against “fraudulent representation” in immigration.

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Why Kingstonians should welcome Tamil refugees

Posted by admin on Sep 13th, 2010

The Kingston Whig Standard, Sep 13 2010

More than three weeks ago, a ship arrived off the coast of British Columbia carrying almost 500 Tamil refugees. After the ship entered Canadian waters, it was boarded by Canada Border Services Agency officers and the RCMP, after which the ship was escorted to CFB Esquimault where all of the passengers were subsequently detained and are now being held in three different detention centres, including a youth detention centre, in B.C. The centres have been told to prepare to hold the refugees for a period of three to four months. Sound like a familiar story? By now it should. Only last December did the Queen Lady arrive with 76 Tamil refugees, all of whom were detained while the CBSA attempted to prove they had connections to the Tamil Tigers, a group controversially labelled as a terrorist organization by Canada’s Conservative government. After more than a month, all the detainees had been released. The government was forced to admit that the men on board the Queen Lady had no proven connections to the Tamil Tigers.

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Briarpatch Magazine’s Migration Special Issue

Posted by admin on Aug 29th, 2010

People move across borders from necessity or desperation, providing the citizens of the territory they enter with an unfree workforce that is often used to undermine the rights of more established workers. More than race, more than class, more than gender – but interacting powerfully with all three – the colour of oneÂ’s passport, or the misfortune of having been displaced from oneÂ’s country of origin, can do more to limit a personÂ’s opportunities than almost any other single factor. Declaring war on walls of all kinds, Briarpatch explores the politics of migration in our “freedom of movement” issue.

Reaction to the Tamil boat: Curious comparisons

Posted by admin on Aug 23rd, 2010

By Seth Klein | August 23, 2010,

If the 492 Tamil asylum-seekers who recently arrived by boat on B.C.’s shores are “queue-jumpers,” then I guess my parents were too. See, they came as Vietnam War draft dodgers from the U.S. in 1967. Like a couple of the Tamil women just arrived, my mom was pregnant with me. My parents did not seek advance permission from the Canadian government to immigrate. They did not fill out any paperwork before arriving. And they could no more seek permission to leave from their home government than these Tamils could, for what they were doing was, as far as the U.S. was concerned, illegal and would result in my father’s arrest.

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Tories using migrants as a straw man: MP

Posted by admin on Aug 14th, 2010

By Katie DeRosa, Times Colonist August 14, 2010

The Conservatives are playing “fast and loose” with the term terrorist, to the detriment of legitimate refugees aboard the cargo ship that sailed into Esquimalt Harbour yesterday, say critics of the government’s hard-line response to the issue. “The feds are using the migrants as a straw man to make themselves look strong,” said Keith Martin, Liberal MP for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca. He was responding to comments from Public Safety Minister Vic Toews that the MV Sun Sea could be under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam — which Canada considers a terrorist organization — and that terrorists and human smugglers are among the 490 Sri Lankans aboard.

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