Emergency: Condemn the Raids!

Posted by admin on Apr 8th, 2009

As you all know there has been unprecedented raids of non-status workers in Southern Ontario. CBSA is boasting this as one of their largest enforcement operations in Canadian history. Approximately 100 people are still in detention, primarily in the Greater Toronto Area district. Our allies in Toronto have requested urgent national responses to send a clear message that we are outraged and angered – that we will not remain silent as hundreds of non-status and migrant workers are being brutalized -that we will stand now before these raids escalate across the country. Actions have occured in Toronto, Edmonton, with more planned in Montreal and elsewhere.

**** In Vancouver we are initially planning a press conference for tomorrow (THURSDAY) at 3 pm at Citizenship and Immigration Offices (300 West Georgia). We hope as many people can gather with us to tell CBSA that we will not tolerate these attacks.

Community Groups Condemn Largest Immigration Raid in Canadian History

PRESS CONFERENCE: Thursday April 9th at 3 pm. Immigration Offices, 300 West Georgia

Speakers: No One Is Illegal-Vancouver, SIKLAB Overseas Filipino Workers, Association of Chinese Canadians for Equality and Solidarity Society, Lawyer Peter Edelmann, and others.

April 8, 2009, Vancouver – Community groups, immigrant worker organizations, and members of the legal community are outraged at the recent Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) raids in Ontario. Executing unprecedented US-style raids and massive round-ups in East Toronto, Leamington, and Bradford, CBSA has arrested and detained over 100 non-status and migrant workers.

In one of the largest CBSA raids in Canadian history on Thursday April 2 and Friday April 3, enforcement officers stormed into workplaces including factories and farms, as well as workers homes. Most of the arrestees are currently being held in Immigration Detention Centres.

According to the Immigration Legal Committee of Toronto, a joint project of the Law Union of Ontario and No One is Illegal-Toronto, “We vociferously condemn the CBSA raids as a shift towards aggressive enforcement tactics. Every person should be concerned about the message this sends to our friends and community members.”

“In this economic crisis, migrant workers are even more vulnerable. Rather than guaranteeing that these workers have full rights as permanent residents, Canadian immigration policies systemically discriminates and exploits these workers who work in the most dangerous sectors of our economy,” states Peggy Lee of No One Is Illegal-Vancouver.

According to Glecy Duran, Chairperson of SIKLAB-BC Overseas Filipino Workers, “Without looking at the contributions migrants make to the Canadian economy, the government continues to criminalize migrants.”

“These anti-immigrant raids make clear that in fact, contrary to Minister Jason Kenney’s recent comments, Canada is not a hotel. These raids heighten a sense of fear in immigrant communities and ensure that migrant workers will continue to work as part of Canada’s revolving door policy with minimal human and labour rights” further states Lee.

“Instead of dignity and justice, the government is choosing a path of racism, criminalization, and fear-mongering against migrant workers. But we want to make it clear to them that across Canada people are protesting these US-style anti-immigrant enforcement tactics and are demanding justice for migrants.”

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