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A voice for kids too afraid to go to school

The Toronto Star - Nov. 24, 2009
Nicholas Keung
Immigration Reporter

Gerald and Kimberly Lizano-Sossa from Costa Rica. Mathew Nguyen from France. Rawad Reda from Lebanon. Sarah Leonty from St. Lucia.

These youths, at one point or another living without legal status in the GTA, represent the otherwise voiceless and faceless people too afraid to attend school for fear they will be detained or deported.

Three years after their publicized stories prompted the Toronto District School Board to adopt the "don't ask don't tell" policy – keeping its schools from asking a student's immigration status at enrolment – advocates say non-status students continue to be hassled or are refused enrolment.

In an attempt to better inform school employees – from principals to office clerks – about board policy, advocates, with the support of Ontario elementary and secondary school teachers' unions, have launched a self-made video.

Shelter Sanctuary Status: An Evening of Resistance

Nov/25/2009 - 6:00 pm

Nov 25 SSS EventJoin SHELTER SANCTUARY STATUS for

AN EVENING OF RESISTANCE
Because DEPORTATION IS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

WED, NOV 25, 2009
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
6pm Registration, 6:30-8:30pm
Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Ave.)
Speakers, Theatre, Poetry, Music and more...

Every year, tens of thousands of women and trans-people travel across borders and check-points, empty their savings and make the difficult journey to Canada, leaving behind homes, families and sometimes children in search of safety. For economic security. For refuge. Often entering a system of temporary, exploitative work. Live-In Care-Givers and other migrant workers are being treated like disposable commodities by Canada. Women fighting back against violence are being denied status. Working for years. Unable to bring their families. Unable to unionize.

Enraged by this treatment and inspired by the victories of the DADT campaign in Toronto schools, the Women's Movement has risen up to demand Status for All. Shelters have opened their doors further to non-status women. Rape/Trauma Crisis Centres, Group Counseling Homes, Anti-VAW Shelters, Agencies and Community Organizations have organized to provide basic and essential support services to survivors of violence while mobilizing and advocating for a full regularization program.

Stop Detentions! Stop Deportations! Status for All!

-- a statement on the detained Tamil Refugees and the Canadian Refugee system --

written by No One Is Illegal-Toronto and Tamil Youth Organization

Seventy six people from military occupied north and east Sri Lanka arrived off the coast of BC in a ship on Friday, 16 October, claiming refugee status. All but one of the men, ethnically Tamil, are still imprisoned. Days after their arrival, Kenney cut Canada's refugee acceptance targets by 60%, limiting acceptance to no more than 9,000 - 12,000 people a year. In 2008, the quota was 22,000-29,000 a year. Without any consultation, the Immigration Minister has undemocratically and fundamentally changed Canada's refugee system. The Immigration Minister has tried to belittle these migrants, calling their journey a justification for further changes.

Crossing the Borders: Creating a Just Health Care System for Immigrants and Refugees

Nov/26/2009 - 6:30 pm

Presented by "Health for All"

Thursday November 26th
6:30pm
55 Gould Street, Student Campus Centre, Room 115
Ryerson University

An Evening Panel & Discussion Featuring:

Paul Caulford, MD, Scarborough Urban Health Outreach Centre (Clinic for the Uninsured)
- will discuss the reasons for and workings of the SUHOC, a health clinic that serves a large population of undocumented/uninsured persons

Bob Gardner, PhD, The Wellesley Institute
- will speak about the health care system and structural issues of equity

Nell T.
- will speak about her first-hand experience of attempting to access care as a person with precarious status

MacDonald Scott, LLCL
- will speak, as Nell's legal representation, from a legal perspective, outlining her unprecedented case in attempting to access Interim Federal Health, without status.

Health is a fundamental human right. One that is being denied to hundreds of thousands of people living in Toronto.

Jane and Finch Community Forum

Nov/24/2009 - 6:30 pm

Jane and Finch Community ForumJane Finch Action Against Poverty and NOII present:

Jane and Finch Community Forum on Immigration
Tuesday November 24
6:30pm
Palisades Cineplex (15 San Romanoway, east of Jane and Finch)

- Deportations have increased 50% in the last ten years
- Poverty in new immigrant communities has increased 125% in the last year
- Police are attacking youth of colour in schools and on the streets
- Proposed regulations aim to make migrants permanently temporary
- The refugee system is being broken further
- The family reunification program is shrinking
- Migrants are the last hired, and in this recession the first fired

Come out to a community discussion on what is wrong with the immigration
system and what we can to do to fight back.

Click here to read more.

Mexican woman deported to her death

Posted in

October 23, 2009
Nicholas Keung
The Toronto Star

"A woman between the ages of 20 and 30 was found murdered – and with evidence of childbirth – with blows to her body and a bullet in the forehead, a classic revenge from drug trafficking," said a June 5 story in the Mexican newspaper El Informador de Jalisco.

A death certificate later classified the woman's death as a homicide.

What the coroner's office didn't mention was that the 24-year-old murder victim and her mother and sister had twice sought refuge in Canada, in 2004 and 2008, from drug traffickers. The same men are thought to have kidnapped and killed young Grise, leaving the fate of her baby unknown, after she was forced back to Mexico.

Grise's tragic death highlights the need to give refugees a right to appeal when their applications are rejected, say Toronto advocates.

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