Stop deportations! Status for All!
Anti-Deportation Days comprises two weeks of activities and events from 1 to 15 June, and includes the annual Status for All march through downtown Montreal on June 7th (2pm at Norman Bethune Square). Anti-Deportations Days is organized by the Status for All coalition in opposition to deportations, detention, and double punishment and in support of a Solidarity City and the regularization of all migrants with precarious status. Calendar of events: www.statusforall.org.
There are upwards of 500,000 migrants living without any status in Canada, at least 50,000 of whom reside in Montréal. Non-status residents are unable to access healthcare or enroll their children in school, are denied access to food banks, shelters, and other services, are ineligible for social assistance benefits and live in constant fear of detention and deportation. Last year, over 350,000 “temporary” migrant workers entered Canada – more than all permanent immigration categories combined.
Refugee demands have been halved under the 2012 Refugee Exclusion Act, with right to appeal denied and legal avenues restricted based on nationality. Family reunification programs have been drastically cut, with a moratorium on all parent and grandparent immigration to Canada throughout 2013.
Canada detains between 9000 and 15,000 im/migrants every year, including children, on administrative grounds; they are sometimes held for months or even years. In 2013, more than 15,000 people were deported from Canada. This is over 40 people every day. Nearly 90,000 people have been deported under Harper’s regime.
Canada’s immigration system has always been exclusionary. Migrant labour has long been a part of building colonial Canada, from the Chinese migrants who built Canada’s railroad at the turn of the 20th century to the first “official” migrant workers from Jamaica who laboured on Canadian farms in the 1960s. Over the last decade, changes to immigration policies have more visibly entrenched this discriminatory, multi-tiered, temporary immigration system, while also making permanent, citizen-track immigration unattainable for the majority of those who enter Canada.
Canada is built on the colonization and commodification of Indigenous peoples, their resources and their lands. This ongoing displacement and dispossession of Indigenous communities creates the very capitalist market for disposable, exploitable labour, and allows for racist policies that normalize and justify the exclusion of people of colour from full status in Canada. We reject the state-imposed colonial categories that divide and commodify particular groups of people, while also physically dividing and imposing policies of terror on communities that have migrated and inhabited these lands for time immemorial.
Immigration in Canada is increasingly dominated by corporate interests that profit from the detention and deportation of migrants, growing border securitization, and employer-driven temporary worker programs that tie workers to their Canadian employers. In 2013, Canada spent over $54 million to incarcerate migrants in detention centres run with private companies such as G4S and Garda. Privatization has meant that migrants are increasingly regarded by the state as exploitable commodities through their criminalization and precarious status.
The recent moratorium declared on the food service sector will shut out at least 44,000 migrants, many of whom have paid recruiters thousands of dollars and are living in debt. This action targets workers while failing to address the underlying racism and abuses of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Calling for a moratorium that excludes rather than provides paths to permanent status is a de facto call for mass exclusion of people of colour.
Status for All! Not one more deportation! Land, freedom, self-determination, Canada is an illegal nation! Together, we will build a Solidarity City of mutual aid and resistance!
Contact : www.statusforall.org or 438-933-7654
We are the Status for All Coalition, comprised of groups and individuals who are active in supporting migrant communities. We mobilize around four main demands: an end to detention, an end to all deportations, an end to the double punishment of migrants, and Status For All. We believe that everyone should have the freedom to move, to resist forced displacement, and to return to one’s homeland. We reject colonial borders and colonial state categories, and support struggles for Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination.