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Nell Touissant Wins but Federal Court of Appeal Victory Bittersweet

June 09, 2011 (Toronto) -- In 2008, Nell Toussaint, a non-status woman living in poverty in Canada after working one precarious job after another and surviving life-threatening medical conditions, asked the Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney to allow her to apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (an H&C application) without having to pay the exorbitant $550.00 fee usually required for these applications. This excessive fee effectively bars poor and working class people from filing an H&C application because they are unable to afford it. Nell Toussant based her request on a provision of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act which explicitly allows the Minister to exempt a person from any requirement under the Act. A reasonable person would think this would include the requirement to pay a fee, but Jason Kenney is not a reasonable person and told Nell she would have to pay to have her application considered.

Alvaro Orozco to be released from detention; Immigration status on H&C grounds granted!

“Thank you. To all the people that signed petitions, that came out to rallies, all the organizations that have supported me, Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The detention centre is still full, with kids and families. It's not fair. It's not fair that police are working with immigration to arrest people. We need change now. I hope that people in the community will continue to fight for justice for immigrants and refugees.” Alvaro Orozco, May 31, 2011

No One Is Illegal - Toronto joins Toronto’s queer and arts community in celebrating the upcoming release of Alvaro Orozco from immigration detention. Alvaro has been in detention since Friday, May 13th, after being racially profiled and arrested by Toronto Police outside Ossington station. Alvaro Orozco’s Humanitarian & Compassionate application for immigration status was approved late Tuesday afternoon and he will be released back to his community on Wednesday.

Community power, grassroots organizing from St.John's to Victoria, and Alvaro’s inspiring resilience in the face of immigration-detention created this people’s victory. Even though most mainstream media outlets refused to cover Alvaro’s story, we were able to organize immense public pressure in the last two weeks. Undaunted by the continuous attacks of the Harper government, and their neo-con agenda, we assert again today that when we fight together, we win.

Comment: Spousal Sponsorship Changes (by the Immigration Legal Committee)

Introduction

The Immigration Legal Committee (ILC) of the Law Union of Ontario (LUO) calls on the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada to scrap proposals to impose a two year “conditional residency” on sponsored spouses, common law partners and conjugal partners and a five year prohibition of sponsored persons who have left a relationship with their sponsor to sponsor their new spouse, common-law or conjugal partner. The proposals were published in the Canada Gazette as amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPRegs) on March 26, 2011 and April 2, 2011 respectively.

May Day 2011: Stop the Cuts! Status for All!

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May Day 2011 bannerOn May 1st 2011, International Worker's Day, workers waged and unwaged, people with and without status took to the streets of Parkdale. For the 6th year in row we gathered to demand Status for All, to march for justice, for freedom, for access without fear, for the right of all to live with respect and dignity.

As people gathered in front of Parkdale Collegiate they were greeted with delicious food, high-energy musicians and Samba bands, and hundreds of vibrant flags, placards and banners. Powerful messages of solidarity were delivered by indigenous sovereignty activist Missy Elliot, Jethro Tulin from the Porgera Alliance of Papua New Guinea, the Caregivers Action Centre, the South Asian Women's Rights Organization and the International Federation of Iranian Refugees.

Over 1800 people braved the gray and rainy day to be a part of the demonstration, and Parmbir Gill, an organizer with No One Is Illegal – Toronto explained that commitment when he said: "Those who are the most marginalized, the most gunned down, the most kicked, beaten, spit on, treated like dirt, we who bear all of these acts of violence on our minds and bodies - we are also the most rugged, the most stubborn, the most resilient.”

On the Justice of Tearing Down Fences and Dismantling Borders

A Joint Statement of No One Is Illegal Toronto, No One Is Illegal Vancouver, No One Is Illegal Halifax, No One Is Illegal Montreal and No One Is Illegal Ottawa – April 28, 2011

No One Is Illegal groups continue to struggle on the streets for migrant justice across North America against increasingly repressive and racist immigration controls. We join together once again this year with workers around the world during May Day demonstrations to assert our dignity and affirm international solidarity with those who dare to challenge borders and capitalism. We also take our struggle to the courts where a member of No One Is Illegal, Jaggi Singh, is pleading guilty to counseling to commit mischief and is facing six months in prison (INFO: www.clac-montreal.net/jaggi), for rightfully asserting that the G20 security fence was illegitimate and courageously calling for it to be torn down!

Toronto: Who will you be marching with on May 1?

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(1) Intl. Workers Day-Elections2011: Status for All!
(2) Join Rhythms of Resistance for May Day - Dancing Bloc!
(3) May Day 2011: Education Not Deportation Contingent
(4) May Day 2011: Health for All Contingent
(5) March with the May Day Queer Contingent!
(6) May Day 2011: Green Bloc
(7) Palestine Solidarity Contingent - May Day of Action (CAIA)
(8) Toronto Coalition to Stop the War at May Day!
(9) May Day Indigenous/Anti-Colonial/Anti-Authoritarian Contingent
(10) Jane and Finch Bus to Parkdale. 11:30am, Yorkgate Mall
(11) Join Maggie's in marching on May Day: Status for All!
(12) March with the DAMN contingent

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Elections2011: 'Vote' on the Streets!
6th Annual No One Is Illegal May Day of Action for Status for All

On May 1, International Workers Day, join tens of thousands of people across North America and millions across the planet. Workers waged and unwaged, migrants with and without status: refuse to be silent in the face of deepening austerity, job losses, environmental destruction, imperialist wars and corporate greed.

We are encouraging people to bring their dreams, visions and hopes for justice and dignity on placards, on clothing and on pieces of paper. We will be accompanied by marching bands, floats, puppets, and more.

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