At 8:30am this morning, Daniel Garcia unwillingly boarded a plane to Mexico City. The new year begins with a hole in the Parkdale community and in our hearts.
With over 1600 petitions signed, Christmas Day meetings of 50 people, New Year's Eve rallies of 150 people, some believed that perhaps the Tories would listen to the 'public' that they always invoke. With politicians, church groups, teachers unions, the Toronto District School Board, and especially Daniel's teachers and fellow students all condemning the deportation and calling for his release and with headlines in every newspaper and TV station across the country telling his 'special' story, some thought that perhaps Jason Kenney would intervene and grant Daniel Garcia a temporary resident permit. He didn't.
Yet again, the Conservative government of the day (like all governments) has shown that it is committed to a single project - one of exclusion, exploitation and ongoing violence.
The Federal Court Judge hearing a motion on Daniel's stay of deportation insisted that he had come to the court with 'unclean hands' because he had not informed immigration authorities of a change in address and did not appear for one appointment, and as such his deportation would not be stayed.
We charge the Federal Court of Canada, Jason Kenney, and the Harper minority of having unclean hands. Their hands uphold no principle of justice, only the economic value that they can squeeze out of migrants. Their fingers are buried in colonization and capitalism, while ripping apart our communities and our families.
The anger that rises in us is not because Daniel Garcia's deportation was an exception, it rises because Daniel's deportation is an every day injustice where migrants, poor, racialized, young, unwell, often women, queer and those living with disabilities, are tossed out.
What moral authority does any person, bureaucracy or government have to determine where people can live? None! A state that exists due to the dispossession and killing of Indigenous communities has no moral power to control who lives within borders it calls its own.
And when rallies, petitions, phone calls, and emails do not work, we ask ourselves, how are we to defend ourselves against this violence?
Today, as we look back at what has transpired over this past week with sadness and anger, as we hold together those dear and still with us, we commit again to pushing immigration enforcement out of Toronto, to making our neighborhoods and our communities safe. We will not gain justice only through the courts, politicians, and the mainstream media. Justice will come when enough of us, together, commit to tearing down the ideological walls that separate us into citizens and refugees, to ripping open the immigration jails, and to destroying every force that pushes people out of their homes.
We continue. No One Is Illegal.