End immigration detention: No One Is Illegal Fredericton

On July 26, 2016, No One Is Illegal Fredericton wrote Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety, to demand an end to immigration detention. Read the letter here. Six months later, on January 15, 2017, Minister Goodale responded. Read his reply here.

On January 18, 2017, No One Is Illegal Fredericton wrote to Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey reiterating concerns over Canada’s immigration detention system. Read the letter here.  DeCourcey responded on March 8, 2017. Read his reply here.

Sixteen people have died in immigration detention since the year 2000 — four of them died in maximum security prisons in Ontario since No One Is Illegal Fredericton wrote our letter to Minister Goodale. The Toronto Immigration Holding Centre and other immigration detention centres are being expanded. The Toronto Star reported on February 23, 2017 that an average of 48 children are held in Canadian immigration detention every year.

More information at: www.endimmigrationdetention.com

It’s Rally Time! Fredericton March Against Islamophobia and Deportations

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 4 at 12:30pm
WHERE: Fredericton City Hall, corner of Queen and York

FACEBOOK EVENT

On January 29, 2017, a group of Muslims were praying in a mosque at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre when a gunman opened fire, killing six people and injuring more.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, Fredericton will join actions across the country that will express our grief and solidarity with the victims of this horrific act of violence committed at the Quebec mosque.

No automatic alt text available.We will take a stand for:

(1) More humane immigration and refugee polices in Canada, the U.S. and worldwide. We must demand that the Canadian government remove caps and restrictions on refugees entering the country and scrap the Safe Third Country Agreement and the Designated Country of Origin list, which stops people from seeking asylum in Canada. We must end immigration detention and deportations.

(2) The elimination of all federal legislation that attacks racialized Black and Brown Muslims and refugees, including the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act and the anti-terror legislation such as Security Certificates and Bill C-51.

(3) No walls and bans against Muslims and refugees on stolen Indigenous lands! We affirm our solidarity with the Wolastoq people on whose lands we reside on.

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There will also be a sign and poster-making event on THURSDAY at 6:00pm at the Bibliothèque publique de Fredericton/ Fredericton Public Library (12 Carleton St.). There will be some paint and poles (for a large fabric banner) but please bring all the other materials you will need. We suggest Bristol board, foam boards, wood handles (for the signs), glue, markers, glitter, stickers, etc.

For more information, contact: noiifredericton@gmail.com

Send a Message to Decourcey – Act on the Muslim Ban!

Community members will be circulating a letter from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) outside MP Matt Decourcey’s office on February 1st at 12:00pm asking the government of Canada to act on the US Travel Ban

https://ccla.org/contact-your-mp-re-us-travel-ban/

Decourcey’s office is located at 494 Queen St. in Fredericton.

IN ENGLISH

Dear Matt Decourcy,

My name is [NAME] and I live in [CONSTITUENCY].
I am writing because I am deeply concerned about the recent US travel ban, including both its impact on Canadians and immigrants and refugees worldwide.

I join the Canadian Civil Liberties Association in calling on the Canadian government to take the following steps to honour its constitutional, legal and international law obligations immediately:
Suspend the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, which prevents asylum-seekers travelling from the US from claiming refugee status in Canada, unless they qualify for the limited exception under the agreement.

Put in place procedures to efficiently process applications from all asylum seekers from countries affected by the ban who are in the United States and wish to seek refuge in Canada.
Increase the number of refugees accepted by Canada in 2017 to accommodate individuals from countries currently affected by the U.S. ban, and in particular raise the cap recently imposed on refugees from Syria and Iraq.

Ensure Canadian airlines and other commercial enterprises do not collude with a foreign domestic order – and refuse boarding passes to immigrants, dual citizens, refugees and asylum seekers ̶ that discriminates on the basis of country of origin, ethnic origin, or religious belief.

Ensure clear guidelines are provided by Canada and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to all consular officials to assist any Canadians from the U.S. ban-listed countries who are overseas and find themselves stranded, detained, or otherwise prevented from returning to Canada.

Review the impact of all information sharing agreements with the United States, including, but not limited to the Security Canada Information Sharing Act introduced by Bill C-51; the information sharing agreements pursuant to the Canada-U.S. Security Perimeter Agreement; and the particular impact of Canadian national security agencies including the Canadian Border Security Agency sharing information with U.S. agencies. Canada must ensure that innocent persons are not put at risk by information provided by Canada.

Review the implementation of the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITARS), which has been used on several occasions by Canadian companies to unlawfully discriminate against individuals lawfully in Canada on the basis of their country of origin or contacts to a foreign country.

Provide immediate assistance for any individuals who may be stranded at Canadian airports, bus and train stations as a result of the ban, including those who anticipate being denied entry on arrival to the United States and those who have been turned away by U.S. Customs and Border Protection preclearance.
As your constituent, I would like to be notified as soon as possible of the steps you, your office and the Canadian government are taking to protect the rights of immigrants and refugees.

Thank you,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION, INCLUDING YOUR ADDRESS]

EN FRANÇAIS

Vous pouvez trouver votre député-e à l’aide de votre code postale ici.
Cher Matt Decourcey,

Mon nom est [NOM] et j’habite dans la circonscription de [VOTRE CIRCONSCRIPTION].

Je vous écris pour vous faire part de mes inquiétudes par rapport au récent décret américain sur l’immigration, qui porte atteinte à la fois aux Canadiens ainsi qu’aux réfugiés à l’échelle mondiale.

J’appuie les démarches de l’Association canadienne des libertés civiles qui demande au gouvernement canadien d’agir immédiatement sur les points suivants afin d’honorer ses obligations constitutionnelles, légales et de droit international:

Suspendre l’Entente entre le Canada et les États-Unis sur les pays tiers sûrs, qui interdit aux demandeurs d’asile en provenance des États-Unis de demander l’asile au canada, à moins qu’ils ne remplissent les conditions d’une des exceptions prévues par l’Entente.

Établir des mesures efficaces pour traiter le volume de demandes d’asile des demandeurs provenant de tous les pays affectés par le décret américain qui se trouvent aux États-Unis et qui souhaiteraient demander l’asile au Canada.
Augmenter le nombre de réfugiés acceptés par le Canada en 2017, afin d’accommoder les individus en provenance de pays affectés par le décret américain, et plus particulièrement augmenter le plafond récemment imposé sur les réfugiés en provenance de la Syrie et de l’Iraq.

Assurer que les compagnies aériennes et autres entreprises canadiennes ne collaborent pas avec le décret américain – en refusant d’octroyer des cartes d’embarquement aux immigrants, aux individus ayant une double nationalité, aux réfugiés ainsi qu’aux demandeurs d’asile – qui constitue de la discrimination sur la base du pays d’origine, de l’origine ethnique, ou des croyances religieuses.

Assurer que des consignes claires sont données par le Canada et le Ministère des affaires étrangères à tous les consulats officiels pour assister tous les Canadiens venant des pays visés par le décret américain, qui sont outremer et se retrouvent bloqués, détenus ou empêchés de retourner au Canada de toute autre façon.

Réviser l’impact de toute entente de partage d’information avec les États-Unis, incluant, mais ne se limitant pas à la Loi sur la communication d’information ayant trait à la sécurité du Canada introduite par le projet de loi C-51; les ententes de partage d’information conformément à l’Accord canado-américain sur la sécurité du périmètre; et l’impact particulier des agences de sécurité nationale canadiennes incluant l’Agence des services frontaliers du Canada qui partage de l’information avec les agences américaines. Le Canada doit s’assurer que les personnes innocentes ne sont pas mises en danger par l’information qu’il transmet.

Revoir la mise en œuvre de la Réglementation américaine sur le trafic d’armes au niveau international, qui a été utilisée à de nombreuses occasions par des compagnies canadiennes afin de discriminer illégalement contre des individus se trouvant légalement au Canada, sur la base de leur pays d’origine ou de leur lien à un pays étranger.

Procurer une assistance immédiate à tout individu pouvant être détenu aux aéroports, stations d’autobus et de trains canadiens en raison du décret, incluant ceux et celles qui anticipent un refus à leur arrivée aux États-Unis, ainsi que ceux et celles à qui l’entrée aurait été refusée par le service douanier américain.
L’Association canadienne des libertés civiles a justifié toutes ces demandes, ainsi que plusieurs autres que vous trouverez à l’adresse suivante:
https://ccla.org/ccla-calls-for-concrete-action-from-canadian-government-on-u-s-travel-ban/

En tant qu’électeur(trice), j’apprécierais qu’on m’informe des actions que vous, votre bureau ainsi que le gouvernement du Canada comptez prendre afin de protéger les droits des immigrants et réfugiés.

Merci de l’attention que vous porterez à ma demande,

[NOM]

Letter to MP Matt DeCourcey concerning Immigration Detention

The following is an open letter from our collective addressed to MP Matt DeCourcey. For the purposes of transparency, we have attached this letter in full. 

For more information on immigration detention, please see the End Immigration Detention Network

No One is Illegal Fredericton

January 18, 2017

Matt DeCourcey, Member of Parliament, Fredericton

494 Queen St., Suite 300, Fredericton, NB E3B 6J4

Dear Hon. Mr. DeCourcey,

We last met on April 4, 2017, hand-delivering a letter to you about our concerns related to Canada’s immigration policies. Refugees Welcome Fredericton is now a working group of No One Is Illegal Fredericton. No One Is Illegal is an organization that exists in other cities across Canada and is devoted to issues associated with migrant justice.

Since we spoke with you on that chilly April day outside your office, a number of developments have taken place. Over the course of 2016, there were three hunger strikes by immigration detainees in Lindsay and Toronto, Ontario detention centres, the largest taking place in July 2016, when over 50 detainees refused food. Detainees opposed indefinite detention, the fact that immigration detainees can be detained with no charges, and the conditions they endure while detained. Since 2000, fifteen people have died while in Canadian immigration detention; three people in 2016 alone.

The brave actions of those on hunger strike drew public, activist, and media attention to the continuing treatment of immigration detainees within Canada. Disappointingly, the federal government’s response to these actions was the announcement of an additional $138 million for new or existing detention facilities in Quebec and British Columbia. The response ignored the significant and troubling issues brought forward by immigration detainees and their supporters.

Given that the conditions associated with immigration detention in Canada are deeply troubling, we believe that it is important that the government first consider all alternatives to immigration detention. Through the current system, immigration detainees are jailed for weeks, months or even many years due to flaws with their identification, their status as “irregular arrivals” or simply put in prison as a secure holding place where they await deportation. Detention should be a last resort or a response to exceptional circumstances, not public policy. This sort of action runs counter to Canada’s treatment of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. We believe that the government needs to weigh concerns regarding the deprivation of individual liberty for little (or no) gain. At its core, this treatment runs counter to the spirit of Canadian multicultural policy, social justice and is both fundamentally discriminatory and racist.

No One is Illegal Fredericton echoes the following changes demanded by immigration detainees and their supporters across the country: 

  •  An end to arbitrary and indefinite detention: If removal cannot happen within 90 days, immigration detainees must be released. Limits on detention periods are recommended by the United Nations, and are the law in the United States and the European Union.
  • Release all migrant detainees who have been held for longer than 90 days .
  • 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.
  • Overhaul of the adjudication process: Give migrants fair and full access to judicial review, legal aid, bail programs and pro bono representation.

We understand that the government is reviewing the immigrant detention process. We would like to know the status of this review and ask that you support calls to end the inhumane detentions of immigrants and refugees.

We appreciate a response to our concerns by February 1, 2017, and will gladly meet with you to further discuss these urgent matters.

Sincerely,

Asaf Rashid, Kristi Allain, Tracy Glynn (and the rest of the No One Is Illegal – Fredericton Collective)