Harper Government attacks refugees

Posted by admin on Apr 30th, 2012

By: Sozan Savehilaghi April 30, 2012 · 4:42 pm Downtown East Newspaper

The current Conservative Government is well known for policies that devastate poor communities, immigrants, women, and aboriginal people. One of their latest, Bill C-31, which is called the Refugee Exclusion Act by migrant justice activists, will have a horrifying impact on refugees who seek asylum and safety in Canada. Grassroots organizations such as No One Is Illegal in Vancouver Coast Salish Territories, as well as Non-Government organizations such as Amnesty International, Canadian Council for Refugees, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, have come out in denunciation of this bill. Bill C-31 is condemned internationally and is against Canada’s own Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It defies the UN Convention on the Rights of Refugees which Canada has signed on to.

This piece of legislation, which was put forward by the Minister of Censorship and Deportation Jason Kenney, creates two classes of refugees by discriminating against people based on their country of origin. The Minister, through his self-appointed authority, brands some countries as “safe” so that he can easily refuse people fleeing persecution from having access to safety in Canada. It’s obvious that countries which have economic and political ties with Canada are being labeled as “safe,” countries like Mexico. Further, if this bill passes, anyone who Kenney determines as having come here “irregularly” will be put in prison for one year without any of their rights being respected, including their right to be heard in a court of law or have their detention reviewed. Children will also be locked up with their parents, unless of course parents agree to hand over their children to the government.

These attacks are alarming but there’s even more…

Accepted Refugees will face possible deportation

Accepted refugees are not safe! Bill C-31 gives Government the power to deport people with protected and refugee status, if the Minister of Deportation takes it upon himself to determine that it is safe for refugees to go back to their countries of origin. This means thousands of people who have been accepted as refugees, are permanent residents, and have spent years building a life in Canada, can be ripped away from their communities and violently deported to an uncertain fate.

Blood on Harper and Kenney’s hands

There’s blood on the hands of the Jason Kenney and Stephen Harper. Recently a Mexican woman who claimed refugee status twice and was denied both times was deported back to Mexico only to be murdered a few weeks later. There are many known cases like this and even more cases that we don’t hear about.

When we are all under attack what can we do?

Well… we fight back! The Tories want to push Bill C-31 through various committees and the Senate by June, and have it passed into law by June 29th. The bill shows that Harper and Kenney aren’t even trying to hide their disdain for the most marginalized people. Refugees and migrants are not alone in their struggle for safety and dignity. On April 4th Refugee Rights Day grassroots activists occupied the offices of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and conservative MPs across the country in 7 cities to express their opposition to these changes in immigration policy. As the fight continues let us join until everyone has the right to stay, the freedom to move, and the right to return.

Comments are closed.