TORONTO: At least five of the 21 men that Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) racially profiled, ID checked forcibly and detained with the help of Ontario Provincial Police and Ontario Ministry of Transportation are being deported this Tuesday, August 19, No One Is Illegal – Toronto says it has learned.
Immigration justice activists believe that these rushed removals are an attempt by CBSA to sweep under the rug the egregious racial profiling that took place in last week’s anti-immigrant raids. Over 50 people protested outside the Ontario Ministry of Corrections and Ministry of Transportation near Queen’s Park Monday, with demonstrators demanding that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne curb the power of provincial authorities to collaborate with federal immigration enforcement and make Ontario a ‘sanctuary’ province.
“Getting travel documents within 48 hours of arrest for people there were no warrants for is unheard of,” said Macdonald Scott, immigration consultant with Carranza LLP, who represented two of the detainees at their detention reviews Monday morning. “This isn’t justice, it’s a conveyor belt of racial profiling, followed by instant deportation.”
Tings Chak, organizer with No One Is Illegal – Toronto added, “These rushed removals are an obvious attempt to hide the evidence of CBSA wrongdoing with the collusion of Ontario officials. But this isn’t some small event that can be brushed aside; there are families being separated and pulled apart. We will continue to take actions to ensure that the disgusting actions of last week are never repeated.”
Toronto City Councillor Joe Mihevc joined activists’ call to declare Ontario a ‘sanctuary’ province, saying: “This raid has created deep insecurities in some of our most vulnerable communities, and makes the city as a whole a place of fear. Ontario should move quickly to fulfill its social justice commitments by following the lead of Toronto and many American jurisdictions and developing a sanctuary policy. The province should be supporting undocumented Ontarians.”
“We are not bad people. We come here in search for the well being of our families. Many times we cannot offer this because of the political and economic situations in our countries. I want to tell Canadians to be conscious that we have a necessity to be here,” said one of
Macdonald Scott’s clients, Jose, who wishes to only be identified by his first name.