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Migrant Justice Advocates Launch "Stop the Raids!" Campaign in Toronto

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Pledge to end racist scapegoating of migrant workers during economic recession

On Saturday June 6, 2009, nearly a hundred people assembled to hear from people directly affected by the recent Immigration raids that have terrorized migrant communities.

Immigration raids conducted in April saw over 100 migrant workers arrested and were followed by another raid in May where nearly 2 dozen workers were arrested.

"We are not illegal" related Flor, a migrant farm worker who witnessed the raids this May. "All we ask for is to make a living".

Another migrant worker who was arrested in the April raids explained her situation: She was forced to quit the job she had a work permit for because of horrendous conditions involving a criminal investigation against her employer. She was arrested in an Immigration raids while working and was jailed for a month.

These stories are typical of an immigration system that exploits migrants, too-often people of colour, and then blames them for their exploitation.

Two other workers who were meant to speak on the day could not be present because their deportation was scheduled for the same day.

The assembly vowed to stop immigration raids and the scapegoating of immigrant communities. Instead, calling for dignity and respect for all migrants, full regularization and an end to deportations. Renewed energy was also directed towards the Access Without Fear campaign that aims to make Toronto an accessible city for all its residents.

Prior to the assembly, workers and activists from nearly two dozen organizations met to sow the seeds of the campaign that would include education around immigration enforcement, political mobilization for a comprehensive and inclusive regularization program and a broad response in
the event of a raid.

Follow up meetings for Education, Health, Community Organization, Legal and Labor activists were announced. A large assembly is also planned for the fall. To attend these follow up meetings and/or to support the Stop the Raids campaign, please email