Immigrant Groups Protest Mass Deportations

Posted by admin on Apr 6th, 2006

MEDIA RELEASE April 6, 2006Stop the Deportations: Immigrant Groups Protest Mass Deportations of Non-Status PeopleImmigrants and supporters will protest at 12:30 pm Thursday April 6 at Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), 333 Dunsmuir, to condemn the collective roundups and mass deportations of the Portuguese, Latin American, and Caribbean communities in Toronto in the past two weeks.

“The media reports said that no one is asking for a blanket amnesty,” said Alex Mah, an organizer with No One Is Illegal-Vancouver (NOII). “We want to be clear that we are in fact demanding regularization of all non-status people in Canada.”

“In the post 9-11 climate, there has been increased racial profiling and daily harassment of migrant communities through arbitrary detentions, deportations, and the use of security certificates,” said Mandeep Dhillon, a NOII member.

“We are very concerned that the situation will worsen after the recent discussions in Cancun between Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President George W. Bush, and Mexican President Vincente Fox over The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America,” added Mah.

“Undocumented workers make up the backbone of the Canadian economy,” said NOII member Naava Smolash, “and have the right to be treated equally regardless of citizenship status.”

Thursday’s demonstration is one of several across Canada in the past two weeks in response to a new US-style enforcement approach in Canada. An April 1 demonstration saw 300 members of the Portuguese and Latin American communities rally with supporters, concerned community members, and a strong showing of labour support that included CAW and several CUPE locals at Dufferin Mall in Toronto, the site of immigration checks and raids.

Meanwhile, in the United States, a recent rally saw 500,000 immigrants and supporters march through downtown Los Angeles in one of the largest demonstrations in recent U.S. history. Marchers also took to the streets in Phoenix, Milwaukee, Dallas and Columbus, Ohio in recent weeks to protest immigration crackdowns. An article in the Washington Post read: “Wearing white as a sign of peace – and waving flags from the United States, Mexico, Guatemala and other countries – they came to show that illegal immigrants are already part of the American fabric, and want the chance to be legal, law-abiding citizens.” 

Immigration Minister Monte Solberg said that Citizenship and Immigration plans to deport 10,000 people this year. However, a March 28 article in the Globe and Mail notes that the past three Liberal immigration ministers all announced plans to regularize the status of illegal immigrants working in Canada, whose numbers are estimated at 200,000 nationally.

For more information contact No One Is Illegal–Vancouver
at or 778-552-2099

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