July #MigrantStrike Media

Media Contacts:

Tings Chak, 416-276-2174, End Immigration Detention Network

Media Advisories

July 21: As time runs out for federal immigration detainees in provincial custody, advocates urge Ontario to step in
July 15: No answers in mysterious death of immigration detainee increases calls for end to detentions
July 12: Goodale’s ‘Last Resort’ Detentions, Indefinite and Deadly
July 11: Immigration detainees refusing food to call for end to indefinite maximum-security detention

For background information, email migrantstrike@gmail.com

Media Coverage

Media Coverage after Francisco’s death


Media Coverage on Abdi’s death

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OTTAWA SUN: Free jailed immigrants, group tells feds

Free jailed immigrants, group tells feds

by Doug Hempstead

Ottawa-born Deepan Budlakoti, 24, will appear in Supreme Court Monday, June 16, 2014 trying to get his Canadian citizenship back. The process has begun to deport the young man — convicted of selling a rifle to an undercover police officer when he was 19 — to India because that’s where his parents are from, but haven’t lived since 1984.

Like immigrants, he is fighting for his life to stay here.

Deepan Budlakoti, 24, appears Monday morning in Supreme Court and was hoping the group who gathered to march from the University of Ottawa to CBSA headquarters Sunday, would be there to support him.

Budlakoti is facing deportation to India after he was busted when he was 19 for trying to sell a rifle to an undercover police officer.

The trouble is, Budlakoti wasn’t born there — he was born here. His parents are from India but haven’t been back in that country since 1984.

A large segment of the more 100 protesters seemed to agree to join him outside the Wellington St. courthouse at 8:30 a.m. — an hour ahead of his court appearance.

Sunday they were marching to bring attention to their own demands to end immigration detention — following a three-day conference and week of activities.

The group claims FOI requests appear to show political interference in the immigration detention review processes.

They say detention release rates in Ontario have steadily dropped since 2008 when they were 21%, to 11.5% in 2012 and 9.3% in 2013.

Protesters say nearly 80,000 immigrants have been detained under the current federal government. More than a third are held in one of 142 mostly maximum-security prisons across Canada where there is no limit on how long they can be held.

At least 203 children were detained in 2013.

The marchers Sunday were drawing a link between Father’s Day and the detentions, as they claim the practice is detrimental to families. Continue reading

OTTAWA CITIZEN: They march in Ottawa to push for end to immigration detention

Syed Hussan, a Toronto member of No One Is Illegal, spoke at Sunday's end migrant detention rally  and led the chants as the group marched to Canada Border Services Agency HQ in downtown Ottawa.
Syed Hussan, a Toronto member of No One Is Illegal, spoke at Sunday’s end migrant detention rally and led the chants as the group marched to Canada Border Services Agency HQ in downtown Ottawa. 

Protesters marched to Canada Border Services headquarters on Father’s Day to fight Canada’s jailing of migrants, many of whom face deportation.

About 90 people came out to the University of Ottawa, where the 20-minute march began, wielding signs that said “End Immigration Detention” and “Support Migrant Strike” in reference to migrants in the Lindsay, Ont., maximum security prison who have been boycotting their detention hearings since early June.

Tings Chak, who helped organize the End Immigration Detention event, said a recent study by the organization shows a surprising dip in the number of people released from immigration jail. In 2008, 21 per cent of detainees were released, but in 2013 that number shrank to 9.3 per cent.

There are a number of reasons migrants who have lost their status, are without status or have precarious status get “stuck in this limbo,” Chak said.

“It could be that they had refugee status so they can’t be deported back to a country they will face persecution or that the country of origin doesn’t recognize them and some countries … won’t take people forcibly deported. And also there are moratoriums on places where we can’t deport them to; maybe there’s economic or civil unrest.”

Protesters gathered Sunday afternoon to protest the detention of migrants in Canada and marched on Canada Border Services Agency HQ in downtown Ottawa.
Protesters gathered Sunday afternoon to protest the detention of migrants in Canada and marched on Canada Border Services Agency HQ in downtown Ottawa. 

Chak, who is a Toronto member of No One Is Illegal, said Canada is one of the only western nations that doesn’t have a maximum detention for people awaiting deportation. The European Union has a six-month limit and in the United States it’s three months, she said.

“We don’t have an end.”

Chak said it’s also symptomatic of Canada’s changing immigration system for refugees, sponsorship requirements and temporary foreign workers.

“It’s becoming a system of permanent temporariness.” Continue reading

1310 News: Immigration detention protesters block entrance to downtown building

by Alex Black

OTTAWA – Protesters are standing off against police in downtown Ottawa, in front of the Public Safety Canada building near at Laurier Avenue and Bank Street.

As of 8 a.m., 20 protesters had blocked the front entrance of the office with a ten foot golden scale with a sign saying, “no justice in immigration detention.”

The group claims nearly 80,000 migrants have been jailed without trial and charges by the Harper government.

Protesters at the scene told 1310News they’re blocking access to the building because they want an explanation from the Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Link: http://www.1310news.com/2014/06/13/immigration-detention-protesters-block-entrance-to-downtown-building/

RCI Canada: détention arbitraire de sans-papiers

Par Anne-Marie Yvon | francais@rcinet.ca

Selon un rapport publié par le Réseau End Immigration Detention, le gouvernement canadien garderait indéfiniment en détention des migrants sans papiers.

Depuis 2006, 80 000 migrants ont été arrêtés, dont des enfants. Huit ans plus tard, beaucoup d’entre eux se trouvent toujours dans l’un des centres de détention au pays. Ces sans-papiers, dont beaucoup sont issus d’Afrique sub-saharienne, sont détenus sans qu’aucune accusation n’ait été déposée contre eux.

Le document nous apprend qu’en 2013 le Canada a libéré seulement 10% de ces étrangers emprisonnés au pays comparativement à 25% en 2008.

Pour le Réseau End Immigration Detention, ces détentions sont arbitraires, voire racistes, alors que pour les autorités canadiennes, ces migrants représentent un danger pour le public. Le gouvernement craint aussi qu’ils ne disparaissent au pays.

Dans des centres déjà pleins à craquer, il en coûte 3 185 $ pour détenir un migrant par année au Canada.

Toujours selon le rapport du Réseau End Immigration Detention, les conditions de détention sont pires pour les femmes que pour les hommes : on les force à remettre leurs enfants aux sociétés d’aide à l’enfance et leur accès à des traitements médicaux n’est pas adéquat.

L’asile ou la résidence permanente seraient aussi plus difficiles à obtenir que le permis de travail temporaire.

Le rapport propose au gouvernement canadien de ramener à 90 jours la période maximale de détention, en accordant aux migrants la présomption d’innocence comme le font les États-Unis et les pays de l’Union européenne.

Le Réseau End Immigration Detention dit avoir déjà essayé de contester devant les tribunaux ces détentions arbitraires mais en vain.

Des disparités géographiques même en détention

Un détenu a plus de chance d’être libéré dans l’ouest ou l’est du Canada qu’en Ontario ou au Québec.

Nombre moyen de jours passés en détention par région (2013):

Atlantique: 28
Québec: 21
Ontario: 38
Prairies: 32
Pacifique: 10
Moyenne nationale: 25

RCI avec Radio-Canada

Link: http://www.rcinet.ca/fr/2014/06/10/canada-detention-arbitraire-de-sans-papiers/