National “Status for All” Day of Action demanding Regularization

Posted by admin on May 27th, 2006

To All News Editors — For Immediate Release

— Immigrant rights organizations across Canada demand an immediate moratorium on deportations in response to the arrest and detention of children at Toronto schools

— Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal groups are organizing a National “Status for All” Day of Action on May 27, demanding regularization for 500,000 non-status residents in Canada and full rights and dignity for all immigrants against racism, poverty, and criminalization

– Montreal: Sarita Ahooja 514-805-0090 and Tatiana Gomez 514-267-3701;
– Toronto: Sima Zerehi 416-893-4053;
– Vancouver: Claudio Ekdahl 604-779-1454 and Harsha Walia 778-885-0040.

May 1, 2006 — Today, Canadian immigrant rights organizations are proposing a program for the regularization of all non-status migrants in Canada. As hundreds of thousands are expected to protest for the legalization of all “illegal” immigrants in the United States, grassroots Canadian groups are mobilizing for a National “Status for All” Day of Action this coming May 27, 2006.

Moreover, in response to recent raids at Toronto schools by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials — as well as at various locales in Canada, including shopping malls, subways and workplaces – immigrant rights activists are calling for an immediate moratorium on the activity of the CBSA.

“The recent actions of the CBSA is creating fear within immigrant communities,” stated Sima Zerehi of No One Is Illegal-Toronto. “The raids at Toronto elementary and high schools are just a small glimpse into the inhumane day-to-day activity of Canada’s deportation agents. This kind of activity must cease, and an immediate moratorium on CBSA removals is long overdue.”

Tatiana Gomez of Solidarity Across Borders-Montreal added: “The immigration debate in Canada faces a stark choice: either more agents and fear, or more human solidarity and respect for human rights. We choose solidarity and rights over policing and fear, meaning a full, comprehensive and inclusive regularization program for all non-status migrants.”

There are upwards of 500,000 people who live in Canada without status, with many thousands enrolled in temporary work programs, without any chance of gaining residency. The STATUS Coalition of Vancouver, No One Is Illegal-Toronto, the Solidarity Across Borders Network in Montreal, among many others, are supporting a regularization program for all these residents. University researchers and community advocates have produced a study called “The Regularization of Non-Status Immigrants in Canada” and groups have proposed Principles for Regularization (weblinks below).

The demand for full status occurs within the context of the larger context of immigrant rights in Canada. According to Harsha Walia of the STATUS Coalition in Vancouver: “For decades immigrants have been scapegoated for social problems such as unemployment and crime; and now since 9/11, the false link between immigrants and terrorism has developed. Yet the labour, lives, and sweat of immigrants have shaped this society and a “Day Without an Immigrant” would cause the collapse of the Canadian economy. We demand an end to detention and deportations and a life of dignity for our communities.”

For more information:
· The Regularization of Non-Status Immigrants
· “Canada’s Creeping Economic Apartheid”

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