After much public outrage and mobilization against the mass raids of undocumented workers on August 14th in Toronto, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca has asked officials in his ministry to review its collaboration with immigration enforcement. The Toronto Star reported that the investigations will involve the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) going above and beyond its jurisdiction and allocating provincial resources to do the work of federal ministries, including racial profiling and abuse of power.
This is a step in the right direction, but nothing short of a clear declaration of Ontario as a Sanctuary Province is enough. Join your voice with ours, and sign this petition: http://chn.ge/1lbFvON
Join us for a protest-concert against immigration detention on September 17th as we resist raids, detentions and deportations: http://endimmigrationdetention.com/2014/09/03/these-walls-will-fall-prot...
The MTO decision comes after the August 14th dawn raids, in which more than 21 Toronto residents were racially profiled, coerced in to ID checks, arrested on their way to work. The undocumented workers were ambushed by armed officers in a series of surprise early morning sweeps, committed by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in collaboration with MTO and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). Vehicles were stopped under the guise of "vehicle safety checks" and all passengers were coerced into providing their identification and immigration papers. Most of them deported within two business days of their arrests, after being coerced to sign away their rights.
Immediately after hearing about these raids, migrant and racialized communities along with No One Is Illegal - Toronto mobilized to condemn the Ontario-CBSA collaboration. On August 18th, dozens rallied outside the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and marched to the Ministry of Transportation offices to demand and end to immigration raids. On August 19th, members of the directly affected community of Jane and Finch asserted their rights, defending their communities against the rampant policing and racial profiling. Read regular campaign updates here: http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org/KeeleFinchRacistRaids
Provincial resources should not be used to enforce federal immigration policies, and no provincial body should not be doing the dirty work of federal immigration. If the Ministry of Transportation is serious about its review and actually aims to make roads safer for all drivers, they will allow all drivers to apply for licenses to operate vehicles regardless of immigration status. Not only that, this review must include input from community organizations and its results should be made publicly available.
No One Is Illegal-Toronto urges all Ontario ministries to adopt comprehensive “sanctuary” policies such as those adopted by the City of Toronto and City of Hamilton. We urge an end to immigrant detention in provincial prisons. Undocumented people across Ontario and Canada should not be targeted for merely trying to work and feed their families. We want police forces and immigration enforcement out of our communities. We need a Solidarity Province, one in which all residents regardless of immigration status can live dignified lives without fear of racial profiling, detention, and deportation.