A Sanctuary City is one where all people, regardless of immigration status, can live without fear of detention or deportation. It is a city where individuals can exert autonomous control over the places they gather at, their schools, their health centers, their food banks, their social services and their neighbourhoods.
The Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Campaign was launched by No One Is Illegal-Toronto in 2004. Currently in Toronto, city residents without full legal status face significant barriers to accessing essential city services, such as emergency services, social housing, food banks, health care, and education. These barriers exacerbate and perpetuate the fears of detention and deportation that thousands of city residents are forced to live with.
ACCESS WITHOUT FEAR
A Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy would make city services available to all residents, regardless of their immigration status. The policy would ensure that ALL city residents, including people without full immigration status, can access essential services (housing, health, education, social services, emergency services) without fear of being detained or deported.
A DADT Policy at the City of Toronto would ensure:
• Access to city services is not discriminatory on the basis of immigration status. All residents of the city would have access to vital city services, including health care, education, emergency services, housing, food banks, and social services.
• City workers, along with applications for city services, would be forbidden from inquiring into immigration status. All residents of the city with less than full legal status as citizens or permanent residents could apply for and use city services without fear that their immigration status will be discovered.
• City workers, should they discover the immigration status of persons accessing city services would be prohibited from sharing this information with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. All residents of the city would be able to access city services without fear that information they provide will place them in risk of deportation and detention.
• Municipal funds, resources and workers will not be used to enforce federal immigration laws. The Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre (GTEC) has its own mechanisms for handling federal immigration matters. City funds could be used where they are necessary – improving city services!