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Protests respond to Ontario immigration raids

Apr 5 Raid Demoby Faria Kamal, Chris Ramsaroop and Syed Hussan | April 8, 2009
rabble.ca

Nearly 200 outraged community and labour activists rattled the fences of Rexdale Immigration Detention Centre on April 5, demanding the release of over 100 undocumented workers arrested during unprecedented immigration raids across southwestern Ontario.

Chanting ‘No One Is Illegal! Stop deporting people,’ ‘We didn’t cross the borders, the borders crossed us’ and ’Justice for migrant workers,’ teachers, lawyers and organizers from OSSTF D12, Parkdale Legal Community Services, Mujeres Al Frente, the Sikh Activist Network, the Good Jobs Coalition, CUPE, UFCW, CAW, OPSEU and many others joined family members and friends on Sunday morning. Organized by No One is Illegal-Toronto, Migrante Ontario and Justicia for Migrant Workers, the spirited action was in response to three separate but coordinated attacks against undocumented communities.

Canada denies passport to 'blacklisted' citizen

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AbousfianPaul Koring - The Globe and Mail
April 3, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Conservative government reversed itself today and denied an emergency passport to Abousfian Abdelrazik, preventing the Canadian citizen - blacklisted as a terrorist - from flying home to Montreal.

In a terse explanation, it said Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon considers Mr. Abdelrazik a national security threat.

In a one-sentence letter, delivered this morning to Mr. Abdelrazik's lawyers, the justice department said “the minister of foreign affairs has decided to refuse your client's request for an emergency passport.” It cited Section 10.1 of the Canada Passport Order which says “the minister may refuse or revoke a passport if the minister is of the option that such action is necessary for the national security of Canada or another country.”

The refusal represents a complete reversal of the government's written promise of three months ago to issue Mr. Abdelrazik an emergency passport if he had a paid-for ticket home. Mr. Abdelrazik remains stranded in the lobby of the Canadian embassy in Khartoum, where he has living for nearly 11 months, granted “temporary safe haven” by former Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier.

Take Action Against Minister of Citizenship, Immigration & Multiculturalism Jason Kenney

Action Alert1) MAKING PEOPLE ILLEGAL: In recent months, we've seen greater and greater targeting of immigrants without full documentation as Immigration Enforcement carries out raids, waits outside of shelters and impersonates lawyers. We know that live in caregivers are being exploited in bogus jobs and that the Economic Crisis is being used as an excuse to cut applicants from the family and refugee class.

Immigration Canada and Minister Kenney have stepped up both anti-immigrant policy decisions and rhetoric. The changes in immigration targets, the rising detention and deportation rates, the scapegoating of migrants based on language skills, and the threats to remove the pre-removal risk assessment process represent a real attack on migrants that must be spoken out against.

the City is a Sweatshop 2009

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A giant report card was slammed on Mayor Miller's desk on Wednesday (Feb 18) after a successful press conference where migrants and allies exposed and denounced Toronto for forcing its residents in to brutal living conditions.

Failing to provide social housing, viable healthcare, safe learning environments, full shelter and protective work environments, Toronto is a Sweatshop.

A sweatshop we refuse to suffer silently in.

Low-income, poor, indigenous, people of color and queer communities have announced their determination to act against forced dislocation, displacement and abuse under discriminatory federal and municipal policies.

Nearly a thousand of us gathered across Toronto last week to begin to dismantle the city that is a sweatshop.

No One Is Illegal-Toronto: 2008 In Review

Oct 2 March and Rally2008 began with a global food crisis and is ending in a global economic crisis. The worst-hit are the poor and migrant people of the world that are forced out of their homes and cut off from their traditional forms of livelihood. The responsibility for these crises rests with the war-mongering, money-grabbing, domineering cities of the world that are the centres of western power. Toronto is one such city.

The struggle for justice for refugees and migrants is fought in every city in the world. Here in Toronto, we fight for Status for All. We resist the deportations of our community members; we fight to get shelter, emergency services and education; we struggle against discriminatory government policy and fight alongside our indigenous sisters and brothers that are reclaiming their sovereignty. We do this by organizing on the streets; working with migrant justice allies, grassroots initiatives, workers rights organizations, labor unions and students; and through film screenings, forums and over 70 presentations at community centres, agencies and union locals. This is a brief glimpse of some of this work.

Board rejects `don't tell' policy

Fri Nov 21 2008
Robyn Doolittle
Staff Reporter

The Toronto Police Services Board has voted to reject a controversial "don't ask, don't tell" policy for victims and witnesses of crime who are not legally in the country. It's a move that social advocates say is endangering women's lives.

"These matters are never easy and (decisions) cannot be made lightly," board chair Alok Mukherjee said in introducing his recommendation to keep the current policy.

In May 2006, the board approved the Victims and Witnesses Without Legal Status Policy, or "don't ask" as it has come to be known. This was designed to ensure that undocumented individuals were able to contact police, without fear of deportation, while at the same time not putting officers in legal grey area of not reporting a potential crime.

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