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Action Alert: Proposed Immigration Act Jails Refugees, Separates Families, Keeps People Sick

Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney have proposed a new Immigration Act, Bill C-49. It would allow the Minister of Public Safety to declare any group of migrants coming in to Canada, a 'smuggling incident'. There is no definition of a 'smuggler' in this Act.

For the asylum seekers who are declared part of an incident (which could be anyone making a refugee claim in a groups of 2 or more), the Conservative government wants to:

  • Jail them for a minimum of one year
  • Deny access to health services
  • Deny monthly detention reviews, allowing migrants in jail a chance to gain freedom only once every 6 months
        • Be able to revoke people's refugee status after it has been granted by the refugee determination process
        • Ban applications for permanent residence for five years after gaining refugee status
        • Bar people from reuniting with their families for five years after gaining refugee status
        • Stop people from leaving Canada for five years after gaining refugee status
        • Deny the right of appeal to a rejected refugee claim
        • Put in an ex-CSIS director and the man responsible for police brutality during the G20 as a special advisor on human migration

    This is an absolute outrage. This Act is now at second reading in Parliament and must be stopped.

    It is imperative that people across Canada are aware of this bill and its implications. Please call, fax and email your Member of Parliament (details follow) and ask your friends and colleagues to do the same.

    Insist that:

        • Jailing refugee claimants is ruthless, punitive and absolutely unjust
        • We want refugee claimants, asylum seekers and migrants to come to Canada
        • Canceling a refugee claim after it has been granted is absurd and illegal
        • Ministers having absolute power to call anyone a criminal will give rise to absolute corruption
        • This Act contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and breaks the objectives of family reunification within the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
        • This Act is also in violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, all international treaties Canada is a signatory to.

    (Get more ideas from the mainstream articles and other statements linked below)

    With Canadian and other western economies responsible for displacement of millions of people through war, economic turmoil and environmental havoc, there has been an intense spike in people migrating in search for physical and economic security. As movements struggle to stop war, cease capitalist exploitation and halt environmental degradation, it is imperative that we resist the militarization and closing of borders that will limit the ability of communities in turmoil to seek safety.

    TAKE ACTION!

    (1)Participate in the Call/Email/Fax Campaign to the Government and your MP. State your support for the refugees in Canada and denounce the government for spreading unsubstantiated racist lies. Demand that Bill C-49 be scrapped. You can also refer to articles and statements listed below.

    To find out who your MP is and where to write them: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPost...

    (2) Have your organization, traditional council, union, community group, or artist collective write a short public statement/press release of support of migrants and against Bill C-49. Citizenship and Immigration Canada engineered dozens of press releases the day after Bill C-49 was proposed from 'community groups'. It is imperative that we counter this propaganda. Please email a copy to nooneisillegal@riseup.net

    (3) Always take a minute to write letters to the editor and comment on news stories – make a difference in public conversation! Reinforce your support for migrants, demand that Bill C49 be scrapped and condemn irresponsible reporting including repeating unsubstantiated lies. All letters must be short (100 words), include name, mailing address and daytime phone number of the writer; state “Letter to the Editor” in subject; and content should be in the body of the email.

    Globe and Mail: letters@globeandmail.com
    Toronto Star: lettertoed@thestar.ca
    National Post: letters@nationalpost.com
    24 Hours: news@sunmedia.ca
    Metro News: http://www.metronews.ca/toronto/contactus
    Now Toronto: letters@nowtoronto.com
    Eye Weekly: letters@eyeweekly.com

    (4) Invite a speaker to your next meeting. Email nooneisillegal@riseup.net and we would be happy to attend or suggest speakers, as well as provide educational materials.

    (5) Join our low-traffic email announcement list to receive news and events. You can subscribe yourself by emailing nooneisillegal-subscribe@lists.riseup.net. Our Facebook group is http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2232590266.

    Visit our website regularly for updates http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org

    Articles & Statements Condemning Bill C-49