Release: Immigration Activists to Protest Minister Kenney

Posted by admin on Mar 13th, 2011

Monday March 14th at 10 am at Citizenship Offices, 877 Expo Blvd, Vancouver

Monday March 14, 2011, Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories– The refugee rights and migrant justice organization No One Is Illegal is protesting Immigration Minister Jason Kenney’s arrival in Vancouver on Monday March 14th at 10 am at a citizenship ceremony, where he is expected to make an announcement. According to Harjap Grewal of No One Is Illegal, “Jason Kenney is routinely called the Minister of Censorship and Deportation because of his record as one of the most repressive immigration ministers in Canadian history. But there is a growing grassroots movement across the country to reject Minister Kenney’s oppressive, violent, and racist policies.”

This month, Kenney has been under fire for boosting spending in his office by 35% and it was further revealed that he was soliciting money for advertising campaigns through the “Conservative Ethnic Paid Media Strategy” targeted at immigrant voters. The Conservative government’s Bill C49, which would have enforced mandatory detention for at least one year for asylum seekers suspected of using a smuggler, has been rejected despite constant rhetoric and photo-ops to attempt to drum up support for it for over six months.

The growing difficulty immigrants and refugees are facing under Kenney is evident. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s annual report the number of refugees who had their asylum claims approved dropped by 56% over the past four years. The report also revealed a decreasing “target” of 11,000 people in the number of accepted asylum seekers and sponsored family members. Most recently, Kenney’s refugee Bill C-11 created a racist two tier system based on nationality.

“Kenney uses buzz words like ‘expediency’ and ‘security’ to prevent any public or media scrutiny of his actions and to cover for the violent reality of immigrant and refugee exclusion. In Vancouver alone, hundreds of Tamil refugees who arrived over seven months ago aboard the MV Sun Sea continue to be detained in jails. This is part of a broader trend of anti-migrant policies under Kenney, who has enforced deportations at gun point and drastically expanded slave-like temporary worker programs. Deportation is a daily business in Canada and a daily experience for refugees, non status people, and migrant workers,” states Harsha Walia, member of No One Is Illegal.

Under Kenney’s regime, an Eritrean refugee committed suicide from fear of a pending deportation, and a young woman was murdered upon her deportation to Mexico. “This whole system is a facade. It is corrupt, biased, inhumane, and arbitrary. While people are dying, Kenney is concerned about his bid to become Canada’s next prime minister. Kenney is responsible for crimes against people and should be challenged and confronted by people across the country” states Nassim Elbardouh of No One Is Illegal.

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Media: Harjap Grewal 778 552 2099, Nassim Elbardouh 778 848 0722, Harsha Walia 778 885 0040
Kenney “Wanted” poster image:

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