“There are no windows. I want to see the light. I want to breathe. I don’t even know what my name is any more.” – Lucy Francineth Granados
Last night, April 10, “Lights for Lucy” vigils occurred in many communities including in Fredericton, New Brunswick. St. Thomas University students made signs and newcomer youth joined us on the steps of City Hall to demand that Lucy Granados, a mother of three and community organizer for the rights of undocumented women and workers in Montreal, be allowed to stay in Canada. Lucy’s deportation hearing is scheduled on April 13.
At the vigil, speeches were delivered by community members, including Dr. Gül Çaliskan, an organizer with No One Is Illegal Fredericton and a professor of sociology at St. Thomas University.
Read her speech below:
Can we chant for Lucy? Let Lucy Stay!
We are here today because we dream of a better world—a world without borders, without the systems that force people to leave their homes.
A world where there is justice and dignity for migrants; a world where indigenous peoples have self-determination.
A world where those wishing to return to places they have left can do so.
It is a world where the state does not separate people into geographic territories.
This world might seem so far away.
But I can see it. Can’t you? We have no choice but to continue to dream that world.
Because, this world we envision puts a mirror for us to see this land.
Half a million of our friends, neighbors, co-workers, peers, and community members are undocumented in this land that we presently call Canada.
Even now, tens of thousands of refugees await decisions on their cases.
Nearly a hundred thousand migrant workers work in dangerous and difficult conditions.
Hundreds of people face indefinite periods of detention.
Nearly 100,000 migrants in Canada have been jailed without charge. Migrants are the only population of people in Canada who can be jailed on administrative grounds, without ever being charged with a specific criminal offense. That punishment is inflicted on up to 807 children per year.
Segregation is a legally recognized form of torture, and it must end.
In 2017, over 20,000 people entered Canada overland, escaping Trump’s America. They have access to few services, they lack full status, and they face possible deportation.
In the face of these challenges, communities across Canada are fighting back, as they envision the possibility of another world.
In dozens of places across the country, directly affected people and organizers are struggling for dignity.
The non-status women are organizing in Montreal.
We struggle to stop individual deportations (Lucy and Abdoul are only two of them).
Caregivers fight to stop the upcoming program closure that might deny status to thousands of workers.
Like many communities in cities across the country, in our city we are working to nurture a culture of commitment to reducing barriers and to accessing services for migrants who have precarious status or no immigration status.
We dream that future world, and so we demand full access to dignity, rights, and services for all people, regardless of immigration status, with a clear and consistent anti-colonial perspective. That commitment takes us a few steps closer to the world we dream of.
We will continue to hold that vision that feels so far away, yet so near.
Today, we say LET LUCY STAY.
Every day, we will demand, NO MORE DETENTIONS. STATUS FOR ALL, STATUS NOW!
Lucy Francineth Granados is a single mother, the sole supporter of her three children, and is known in her community as an advocate for the rights of women, undocumented migrants and temporary workers. She has made Montreal her home for the last nine years and is dear to so many of us.
Since four Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) agents violently arrested her on Tuesday March 20th, leaving her with a badly injured arm, Lucy has been treated with violence and total inhumanity by the CBSA. Lack of sleep, fear, confusion and the appalling conditions of her detention following her arrest led to two emergency hospitalizations, on the 26th and on the 29th.
Lucy originally left Guatemala after being threatened by maras (criminal gangs which spread to Central American countries from the United States). She traveled alone through Mexico on the infamous La Bestia train to the US and later to Canada, her husband having died. If Lucy were deported, her children would immediately lose their sole source of financial support.
Last year she filed a humanitarian application for permanent residence in an attempt to regularize her status. This is when she came to the attention of the CBSA who then sought to arrest her before her file could even be studied by Immigration Canada. Lucy’s attempt to regularize her status made her a target for the CBSA.
Lucy’s supporters are encouraged to:
Share any of these images (https://www.facebook.com/pg/NoOneIsIllegalFredericton/photos/?tab=album&album_id=623491081320222) on social media using the hashtag #LetLucyStay and tag Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
On Twitter: @AhmedDHussen & @RalphGoodale
On Facebook: @AhmedHussenLib & @ralphgoodale
Call or write Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen (dial 613-995-0777, 613-954-1064 and 416-656-2526 or write to Ahmed.Hussen@parl.gc.ca and email@example.com) and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale (call 613-947-1153, 306-585-2202 and 613-991-2924, email firstname.lastname@example.org and Hon.email@example.com). Copy Fredericton MP Matt Decourcey (firstname.lastname@example.org). Ask them them to stay Lucy’s deportation until her application for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds is decided.
Sign the petition to Let Lucy Stay here.
Resourced by the NB MediaCo-op, Change.org petition