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Solidarity with Isa Haider Al-Aali and all of immigration detainees

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We are writing to firmly express our solidarity with the campaign to stop the deportation of Isa Haider Al-Aali, and all of the migrants being jailed in detention centres across the United Kingdom. Nearly three weeks ago, over 150 detainees in the privately-run Harmondsworth detention centre – Britain's largest detention facility – started a hunger strike that spread to four of the UK's 10 detention centres.

Hundreds of detainees locked up without charges refused food and occupied common spaces, demanding better prison conditions, access to medical services and legal aid, and the an end to the asylum “Fast Track,” which jails refugee claimants upon arrival and denies their right to appeal court decisions. They are detained for the duration of their claims while 99% of applications are denied. In an attempt to punish detainees for their resistance, strike organizers were moved to other detention centres or placed into solitary confinement.

This International Workers' Day: Support, Don't Deport.

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International Workers’ Day Statement by No One Is Illegal Toronto and No One Is Illegal Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory

Last Thursday, Jason Kenney announced a moratorium on new and pending permits of migrant workers in the fast food and restaurant sector. This is a mass deportation order.

Though exact numbers are as yet unknown, there were 44,000 Labour Market Opinions in the food and accommodation sector issued in 2012. Thus, approximately that many migrants will be shut out this year. Migrants abroad with pending applications have also likely paid recruiters thousands of dollars to come to Canada. To do so, many have gone into immense debt that they will not be able to get out of. Workers already here will be unable to change jobs and apply for new LMOs in the sector, leaving them tied to potentially abusive employers.

The ex-Immigration Minister and now Employment Minister Jason Kenney has been on a war path since 2008, systematically shutting out refugees, spouses, permanent residents and citizens. To do so, he has fanned the flames of xenophobia and racism coining terms such as 'bogus refugees', 'marriages fraud', 'birth tourism', 'human smugglers' and 'foreign criminals'. In 2012, the Conservative government cancelled over 250,000 permanent residency applications without processing them. New refugee laws passed at the end of 2012 have halved the total number of refugee applicants in the country - in essence excluding 10,000 people. Laws passed in 2011 will mean that migrant workers who have been here for four years or more will face deportation in January 2015. Add to that the nearly 90,000 people deported under Harper's regime - we are witnessing an enormous wave of mass deportations and exclusion.

Challenges to these have been posed, but have never become a unified social justice concern. That must change.

2013: No One Is Illegal - Toronto in Review

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The turning of the calendar gives us an opportunity to reflect on our struggles, and prepare for the work ahead. Here is a brief report of our activities.

2013 HIGHLIGHTS

Toronto Declared A Sanctuary CityToronto Declared A Sanctuary City

On February 21st, 2013, after over a decade of work involving organizations acrosss the city, No One Is Illegal – Toronto made a major breakthrough as Toronto was declared Canada’s first Sanctuary City. See a partial history of that struggle by clicking here. Check out a report by the Solidarity City Network on the next steps that Toronto must take.

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Canada’s largest immigration detainee strikeCanada’s largest immigration detainee strike

Since September 17, 2013, nearly 200 migrants have been on strike in Lindsay, ON. Though strike participants have faced deportation, segregation and violence, their actions have continued. Over 2,500 people have signed petitions, hundreds of us have protested, and the mainstream media has begun to question the unfairness of immigration detention. See the campaign website at www.endimmigrationdetention.com

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Canadian Immigration: Family Reunification for the Rich and the Lucky

No One Is Illegal – Toronto responds to the May 2013 changes to the Parent and Grandparent Program for Sponsorship

Last week, under the guise of “re-opening” family reunification, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney revealed significant changes to the Parent and Grandparent sponsorship program, once again making it harder for families to be reunited in Canada. With more exclusive conditions, only the wealthy or the lucky ones who make the first-come-first-served cut-off will be reunited with families, leaving behind the thousands who have been waiting for the past 10 years.

In 2011, Minister Kenney imposed a two-year freeze on immigration applications from parents and grandparents, shutting out the 165,000 people who had applied under the program many of whom had been waiting over eight years. Under the new restrictions, most of these families will remain shut out.

Canada's new immigration paradigm: Detention, Deportation and Abuse

On December 15, the Refugee Exclusion Act (Bill C-31, formally the "Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act") will be fully implemented.

Please watch, and share this video, of past and current immigration detainees and No One Is Illegal - Toronto organizers explaining the impacts of these new laws. Filmed by Liberation Cooperative Organization outside the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre.

WATCH & SHARE
https://vimeo.com/55622758

Among other things, these laws will mean even more immigrants will end up in in immigration detention.

Did you know that there have been nearly 95,000 immigrants that have spent time in detention in Canada since 2004? and that immigration detention is $50 + million business with private companies managing and operating immigration detention centres?

KEY FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DETENTION
http://toronto.nooneisillegal.org/ImmigrationDetention2012
Includes a flyer you can print and distribute

AND LEARN MORE ABOUT SECURITY CERTIFICATES
www.supportmahjoub.org & www.justiceforjaballah.org

As of December 15, 2012, our communities face:

* Mandatory detention: Many refugees deemed "irregular arrivals" or "smuggled", including children over the age of 16, will face mandatory detention upon arrival. Migrants will become one of the largest growing prison populations with Harper's prison expansion plan.

No One Is Illegal - Toronto statement on Detentions & Security Designations

** Total persons detained since Harper came to power: Over 72,000
** Total persons detained (2010-2011): 8,838
** Percentage of persons detained in prisons: 35 percent (FY 2010-2011)
** Max. length of detention: Unlimited
** Average length of detention: 25 days (FY 2010-2011)
(Global Detention Project)

No One Is Illegal (NOII) Toronto has a long history of organizing against immigrant detentions, and in the course of this work supporting struggles for prisoner rights and for prison abolition. Today, on the one year anniversary of the 'G20 Main Conspiracy Group' plea deal that saw six of our comrades locked up while 11 were let go, we are joining with DAMN 2025 to speak out in support of our ally and friend Mandy Hiscocks’s application at the human rights tribunal in Ontario.

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