Report from Occupation and Shutdown of CIC and CBSA

Posted by admin on Apr 26th, 2007


On Monday, April 23, a delegation of members and allies of No One Is Illegal-Vancouver occupied the Canadian Border Services Agency office to demand a meeting with Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley and her local representatives and to bring forward demands for migrant justice directly to those offices that quietly ruin the lives of individuals through detentions and deportations.

The letter that was presented, including to migrants coming to the offices all of whom were extremely supportive of the occupation and echoed the sentiment and chant “Stop the Deportations Now!”, can be found at the No One Is Illegal – Vancouver Blog.

The group also challenged those working for CIC and CBSA to account for their participation in the destruction of the lives of those deported and detained every day, including enforcement officers taking away shackled detainees that afternoon. Stickers stating ‘No One is Illegal’ were plastered all over the offices and chants throughout the afternoon brought voice to the thousands of invisible migrants who suffer the violence of this regime. Neither the meeting with the Minister’s representatives nor a satisfactory explaination was forthcoming. After using stalling tactics and calling in a contingent of police officers, employees quitely ducked out a back door to the office. The delegation resolved to return on Wednesday April 25th to repeat the demand.

On Wednesday April 25th, members and allies of No One Is Illegal- Vancouver returned to CIC offices, and despite being guaranteed a meeting by the offices on Monday, this meeting did not happen. The group then proceeded to shut down the front doors of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, disrupting the business of deportation-as-usual. A heavy contingent of police officers were called in and attempted to remove the group from the doors; but upon being asked questions about their grounds to do so, had to back off until they were able to come back with the answer of ‘mischief’. Meanwhile, the front doors were locked down with a U-lock and remained locked as the group left. It appears to have taken several hours for the lock to be removed.

For pictures visit:

According to Sam Stacey “As immigrants and immigrant rights activists we took this step because for several years we have attempted so many other avenues- we have written letters, signed petitions, and supported numerous individuals and families through this unjust system, including filing numerous legal applications; yet we have not been heard nor have the inhumane detentions and deportation stopped.”

The doors were also shut down to symbolize the shutting of the Canadian Border and increasing restrictive border policies that have been passed- forcing up to 500,000 individuals to live without status across the country, about 13,000 people to be deported annually; thousands to be detained; thousands to never make it across the border due to agreements signed by the US and Canada including the Safe Third Country Agreement and the highly secretive Security Prosperity Partnership Agreement; and tens of thousands of others to be forced into choosing exploitative guest worker and temporary foreign worker programs.

It becomes impossible to remain silent as we witness and bear the anguish, pain, and violence of seeing our friends and community members lives torn apart. We urge you to join us in the street on May 1 to demand an end to detentions and deportations and justice for all.

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