Urgent mobilization at the Quebec-US Border
When: July 1st, 2017; Media Briefing at 10am
Where: At the Roxham Road Crossing near Hemmingford (Roxham Road, south of Chemin Fisher)
TODAY (June 29, 2017): Members of Solidarity Across Borders will be in Hemmingford today (Thursday, June 29) to raise awareness and connect with local residents about the "Refugees Welcome" demonstration on July 1st, and to counter the racist anti-refugee rhetoric of the Storm Alliance and La Meute. The contingent will be in Hemmingford today from 10am to 3pm (approximately). A larger group will return for the demonstration on July 1st. For interviews, either today from Hemmingford, or before the demonstration, contact 438-933-7654.
June 29, 2017, Montreal/Hemmingford, Quebec — This coming Saturday, July 1, racists from a group called "Storm Alliance" are planning anti-immigrant demonstrations at border crossings across Canada. The Quebec branch of the Storm Alliance, with the support of anti-Muslim groups like La Meute, are mobilizing to be present at the Roxham Road crossing near Hemmingford, Quebec, where migrants regularly make asylum claims by crossing from the USA into Canada.
In the context of calls for a National Day of Action to Unsettle the 150th (http://unsettling150.ca/), and as a concrete act against racism and colonialism, Montreal-area migrant justice and anti-racist individuals and groups will be mobilizing to the border region on July 1st, with a clear message: Open the borders! Refugees are welcome! Resist and oppose Canadian colonialism!
Montreal, just 45 minutes away from the border, is part of the border region, and we will not allow anti-immigrant racists to intimidate asylum seekers.
WHY ARE PEOPLE CROSSING IRREGULARLY INTO CANADA AT ROXHAM ROAD?
Refugees have crossed irregularly at Roxham Road and other border crossings across Quebec and Canada in larger numbers ever since the shameful Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the USA was implemented in 2004. This agreement prevents migrants from making refugee claims if they come to Canada from the USA at a regular border crossings. However, refugees can make claims if they make an "irregular" crossing at any other point at the border, such as at Roxham Road, which is a relatively convenient and safe place to cross.
There has been a marked increase in irregular crossings into Canada by asylum seekers currently in the USA due to the rhetoric and policies of the Trump administration, which includes attempted travel bans and attacks on the integrity of entire groups, such as Muslims, Arabs and Mexicans. This is in a broader context, in which states like Canada and the United States are responsible for economic and social devastation in countries throughout the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and yet seek to limit who from those countries can live here.
The Safe Third Country agreement forces refugees to make often dangerous border crossings. In May, a refugee claimant from Ghana, Mavis Otuteye, 57, was found dead due to exposure south of the Manitoba border, where she had travelled to try to reunite with her daughter. During the winter months, other refugee claimants lost limbs due to frostbite, or risked death due to hypothermia.
Racist anti-immigrant groups like the Storm Alliance and La Meute demonize and blame refugees. In contrast, we support and commend refugees who cross into Canada, and we will be present at the border region on July 1st in support of the right of all to migrate safely and securely.
OPEN THE BORDERS! Allow access to all migrants fleeing poverty, travel bans, raids and other attacks on their integrity as human beings. All human beings have the right to move, the right to remain, and the right to resist forced displacement.
CANCEL THE SAFE THIRD COUNTRY AGREEMENT! The USA is not a safe third country, and maintaining this agreement means that refugees leaving the USA need to enter Canada irregularly, which results in serious injuries, and will lead to more deaths.
REGULARIZE ALL UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE IN CANADA! Canada too has a significant undocumented population, with at least 500,000 people living without regular status. Canada must implement a comprehensive, inclusive and ongoing regularization program.
National Day of Action to Unsettle the 150th:
Border Rights For Refugees: A multilingual guide for refugees coming to Canada from the U.S.:
FAQ: Coming to Canada from USA:
Community Alert: Montreal is NOT a Sanctuary City:
Principles for a Regularization Program in Canada:
Ghanaian woman walking toward Canada found dead near Minnesota border:
Frostbitten refugee will lose fingers, toe after 7-hour trek to cross U.S.-Canada border:
An ‘Ultranationalistic’ Group Is Patrolling Canada’s Border With the US:
Source: Solidarity Across Borders