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Towards Ending Immigration Detention



PRESS RELEASE

January 23, 2023 For reference: Danilo De Leon, Chairperson Clarizze Truscott, Vice-chairperson migrantecanada@gmail.com Migrante Canada welcomes the recent news that the Alberta government finally ended its agreement with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), effective June 30, 2023 to use provincial jails to hold migrants and refugees being detained on immigration matters, and who have not been charged with, or convicted of a criminal offense. Alberta joins two other provinces, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, which ended their provincial agreements with the CBSA allowing migrants and refugees to be held in provincial jails. It is now up to the Federal Government to cancel all remaining provincial agreements with the CBSA which have been a big source of human rights violations. As long as the CBSA continues to arrest and detain migrants with the complicity of provincial agreements, detentions and deportations will continue and deaths under their custody will continue. Every year, thousands of non-citizens, including children, are detained in Canada. There is also NO legal limit to the length of time the CBSA can detain immigrants in Canada which means the CBSA can lock them up and detain them indefinitely. This cancellation of agreements with the CBSA is a key step to abolishing immigration detention altogether in Canada. Other key steps to the abolition of immigration detention in Canada have been thoroughly studied and sent to the Prime Minister Trudeau, the Ministers of Public Safety and Immigration, and to the Cabinet in the Report on Immigration Detention by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International in 2021. Until that happens, unfortunately, detentions will still continue to happen in spite of the termination of these provincial contracts. Loss of status of migrants and refugees is not a crime! Loss of status is largely due to the Canadian government’s own immigration programs that favour guest workers with temporary permits. The migration of thousands of workers from the global south to work in Canada and the journey of thousands of refugees to Canada expose the reality of the situations of poverty, unemployment, exploitation and violence, the destruction of home communities through foreign mining, logging, aggressive development, and the horrors of war. Immigration detention continues this exploitation and criminalization of migrants and refugees in jail, whether in provincial jails or immigration holding cells. Migrante Canada calls for a stop to detentions and deportations. We join the voices of other migrant networks, advocates, and migrant groups to remind the Canadian government of its promise to deliver a regularization program for undocumented workers. We need a fair and just regularization program that will not leave any undocumented worker behind. Stop detentions and deportations now! End Immigration Detention! Regularization Now! Status for All!

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