New report will expose signs of political interference in federal immigration detention decisions

Media Contact: Tings Chak, No One Is Illegal – Toronto, 416-276-2174

Toronto — End Immigration Detention Network will launch a ground-breaking exposé analyzing federal immigration detention and release trends obtained through dozens of Privacy Act requests over the last year at a press conference and online at http://www.truthaboutdetention.com

Endless, Arbitrary & Unfair: The truth about immigration detention in Canada shows disturbing discrepancies between different immigration detention board members’ decisions. At the same time, the report highlights suspicious ‘consistencies’ which points to federal political pressure. If such political pressure was proven it would put the fairness of the entire immigration detention system into doubt. The report is being launched as over 100 detainees in three maximum-security prisons in Ontario boycott their detention reviews.

WHAT: Media launch of expose “Endless, Arbitrary & Unfair: The truth about immigration detention in Canada”
WHEN: 10am, June 9th, 2014
WHERE: Room 206, 720 Spadina Avenue, Toronto
WHO: Immigrant justice advocates, researchers, constitutional lawyers and ex-immigration detainees
VISUALS: Infographic images of all the key trends, short video launch, and the physical report.

Background

Over 85,000 immigrants have been detained under the current federal government, nearly 10,000 just in 2013. Over a third of the immigrants detained at any time are held in one of 142 maximum-security prisons across Canada. Canada is one of the few countries in the “west” that does not have a limit on detentions pending deportation. As a result, immigrants like Michael Mvogo, and Mbuyisa Makhubu, have been detained for 7 and 10 years respectively. In September 2014, immigration detainees in Central East Correctional Centre started a hunger strike, with two detainees staying on it for 65 days.In retaliation, immigration enforcement has deported some key strike organizers, released a few, moved others into prisons across Ontario, and locked up hunger strikers in segregation. Yet, strike actions like this boycott are continuing.

Demands by detainees

1 – Release all migrant detainees who have been held for longer than 90 days.

2 – End arbitrary and indefinite detention: Implement a 90-day limit on detentions pending deportation. If removal cannot happen within 90 days, immigration detainees must be released.

3 – No maximum security holds: Immigration detainees should not be held in maximum security provincial jails; must have access to basic services and be close to family members.

4 – Overhaul the adjudication process: Give migrants fair and full access to legal aid, bail programs and pro bono representation.

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