Transportation not Deportation

Posted by admin on Dec 1st, 2014

Calling for access to transportation without fear! Stop transit police collaboration with CBSA!

December 14th, 4 PM, Main Street Skytrain Station

This vigil marks the one-year anniversary of Lucia Vega Jiménez’s detention. Please join us at Main Street Skytrain Station where Lucia was first stopped because she did not have fare.

Every day in the Greater Vancouver area, at various skytrain stations and bus stops, transit police racially profile migrants. In total, three hundred and twenty eight people were reported to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) by Transit Police last year, one in five of whom faced a subsequent immigration investigation, which suggests that the other four were simply racially profiled.

One of these people was Lucia Vega Jiménez, who later committed suicide in a detention center. At the coroner’s inquest into her death, a transit police officer testified that he turned Lucia over to CBSA, in part, because Lucia had an accent and that he believed “she wasn’t originally from Canada.”

Rather than regret this trend, a Translink press release brags about how “Transit Police have a strong relationship with CBSA and annually investigate a significant number of over-stays and other immigration violations in partnership with CBSA.” Transit Police’s own report similarly notes that “Transit Police represented a significant proportion of the Police Agency referrals to the CBSA offices.”

Public transportation is increasingly militarized and privatized, disproportionately impacting racialized, Indigenous, poor, and undocumented communities. Bus riders face the humiliation of being singled out and berated, as well as the threat of violence. Vancouver’s Transit police are the only armed transit police force in the country, with an annual budget of $31 million that is expected to grow 25% over the next few years.

Armed transit police should not be on our public transit system and transit should not be a border checkpoint. We want an immediate end to CBSA collaboration with Translink, Transit police and Translink security. Transit is a right and no one should be targeted or criminalised for accessing it.

Transit Police Report Riders to Immigration Nearly Every Day

Transit Police willing to discuss ID checks that could lead to deportation

Lucia Vega Jimenez: Timeline of a tragedy

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