Immigration Raids for Reality TV- Update

Posted by admin on Mar 14th, 2013

As many of you have probably already heard, Canadian Border Service Agency officers conducted raids at number of construction work sites yesterday, including one raid which was filmed for a border security reality TV show. In a show of solidarity and rage, approximately 80 members of the community, including families of those detained as well as activists and community organizers, attended an emergency rally today.

Diana, a family member of one of the workers picked up in the immigration enforcement raid states, “I feel frustrated and sad and angry and hurt. I don’t know when I will see him. As a First Nations woman, I have a right to choose my partner and my life and how I want to live. He was working, supporting his family back home and my family here. Who is this government to say who can stay?”

Angela Joseph, another family member, said of her husband, “He is a great person and a great father and spouse and I’m here to help him any way I can. I think that the immigration services needs to be more lenient on families to keep them together, especially when they have small children?”

Other family members spoke about their loss, their fear and their anger over this clear violation of privacy, safety and security of those detained.

One of the men being detained said: “We are not illegals. We are just like you.”

These workers have families, children and loved ones they are being torn apart from. We know that many of these workers are fleeing structural violence and poverty, only to be exploited for their labour and forced to live a life in hiding and precarity here in Canada. The violence of deportation and detention is quickly being masked under the rhetoric of illegals and a now the profit-motive of entertainment. We stand with these brothers who have been arrested and detained, as well as their family members, to declare that No Worker and No Human Being Is Illegal.


Much of this news has spread through emails and social media and word of mouth, please take a minute to share these links below which include in-depth interviews with family members and community organizers:

* Watch and share CBC Video and story:

* Read Vancouver Sun article with several in-depth interviews:

* Ottawa Citizen: Families of migrant workers deplore raids:


“Border Security: Canada’s Front Line” is a collaboration between National Geographic Channel, Vancouver-based Force Four Entertainment for Shaw Media. The show is sensationalist, embedded reality TV with CBSA officers.

Force Four Entertainment released a pathetic statement this afternoon on their Facebook account.

Check it out and please comment:

Or call or visit them:
56 East 2nd Avenue 2nd Floor, Vancouver, BC
t. 604.669.4424
f. 604.669.4535


We are trying to confirm the numbers of raids and people detained. This is of course hard to confirm.

Our members received phone calls from three job sites which were raided and men in detention are reporting that there are detainees from multiple job sites. There appears to be at least 20 or so men detained between the cells under the VPL and the cells at the Vancouver Airport.

Some of these men will have detention review hearings in the new few days, but we do not know if they want large numbers of people to attend and we want to respect their privacy (particular in this time of heightened scrutiny) unless we are explicitly told otherwise.

We believe most of these men will be deported soon, likely within days. Some maybe released but likely have to appear for their deportations.

We are supporting some family members right now, if you would like to support individual family members (particularly financially or otherwise), please be in touch with us.

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