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NOII in the News

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Homeless shelters should be safe sanctuary, activists say

Nicholas Keung
The Toronto Star
March 8, 2010

Women’s and refugee rights groups are demanding homeless shelters be declared safe sanctuary from removal enforcement officials, who recently entered a Toronto shelter looking for a Ghanaian woman in hiding.

Shelter workers, residents and advocates worry that the February 27 incident at Beatrice House, a downtown shelter for women and children, would scare non-status women in need from seeking help in order to avoid potential arrests and deportation.

They will gather Monday morning, on the International Women’s Day, at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre on Phoebe St. to condemn the action by the Canada Border Services Agency.

“We have heard of the CBSA waiting outside of shelters, looking to apprehend women without status. But I have never heard of officers actually walking into a shelter to look for women,” said Eileen Morrow of the Ontario Association for Interval and Transition Houses.

Community demands access to education without fear

January 7, 2010
Toronto’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy remains unenforced in many schools
James Burrows, News Editor
Ryerson Free Press

No One Is Illegal believes that to label a person “illegal” is to deny them of their humanity and to create a community that is constantly in fear.

This is the message that Grade 10 students at Harbord Collegiate received when they packed into their auditorium for a presentation by No One is Illegal and a documentary entitled Education not Deportation.
No One Is Illegal describes themselves as “a group of immigrants, refugees and allies who fight for the rights of all migrants to live with dignity and respect. We believe that granting citizenship to a privileged few is part of racist immigration and border policies designed to exploit and marginalize migrants.”

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.

Marchers protest migrants' roundup

Posted in

Advocates decry raids that led to deportation of foreign workers

May 03, 2009
Nicholas Keung

More than 800 people took over parts of downtown Toronto yesterday to
protest against what they call U.S.-style sweeps by Canadian border
officials last month that saw foreign labourers arrested en masse,
detained and deported immediately.

Amid a downpour, protesters waved placards that read "Stop the Raids" and
"Workers' Rights are Human Rights," while chanting "We didn't cross the
border; the border crossed us," marching from Allan Gardens to City Hall.

"We are here to send a message to (Immigration Minister) Jason Kenney to
stop deportation of these workers and immediately grant them immigrant
status," said Chris Ramsaroop of the group, Justicia for Migrant Workers.

The rally, organized by No One Is Illegal, an immigrant and refugee rights

Protests respond to Ontario immigration raids

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

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.

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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