Toronto, September 22, 2014 – Grassroots migrant justice organization, No One Is Illegal – Toronto, is filing a complaint to the Ontario Ombudsman urging a public investigation of the racial profiling, and anti-migrant detentions that took place in the guise of a vehicle safety stop on August 14th. The Ontario Provincial Police, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and the Ontario Ministry of Environment have all acknowledged their involvement in these raids which resulted in up to 21 men being racially profiled on their way to work, detained, separated from their families and in many cases deported without adequate access to legal supports. The complaint also calls for an investigation of other Ontario agencies involvement in federal immigration enforcement. Over 800 people have signed a petition asking Premier Kathleen Wynne to declare Ontario a Sanctuary province (http://chn.ge/1lbFvON)
Copies of the complaint which consists of statements from the detainees will be made available to media outside the Ombudsman's office prior to filing and will be updated at www.toronto.nooneisillegal.org shortly after.
WHAT: Press Briefing & Photo-Op before filing of complaint to Ontario Ombudsman about August 14th anti-migrant raids.
WHERE: Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario, 483 Bay Street, Toronto.
WHEN: 9:30am, September 23, 2014.
WHO: Members of No One Is Illegal – Toronto
- There are over 500,000 undocumented people in Canada, nearly 200,000 in the GTA.
- Immigration enforcement deports more than 40 people a day in Canada.
- Over 85,000 people have been jailed by immigration authorities since the current government came to power. These migrants are jailed pending deportation, and have no trial and no charges.
- Canada is only of the only western countries which has no limit on detentions pending deportation, a fact criticized most recently by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. Immigration detainees have called for a 90 day limit on detentions.
- Toronto was declared Canada's first Sanctuary City in February 2013, with implementation steps passed by Toronto City Council in June of 2014. Hamilton declared itself a Sanctuary City in February 2014.
- A Sanctuary City is one where all services are available to all residents regardless of immigration status and municipal staff do not share information with federal immigration authorities. Vancouver, and other cities are considering similar policies.
Media Liaison: Syed Hussan, 416 - 453 - 3632, No One Is Illegal - Toronto