Tuesday, April 7, 2009

IMA condemns Canadian gov’t for immigration raids

Crackdown is omen of worst things to come

The International Migrants Alliance (IMA) denounces the Canadian government in the strongest possible terms after its Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) rounded up and detained last week over 100 migrant workers considered illegal in the Greater Toronto Area.

These raids, according to Canadian authorities, are a part of the three-month probe into illegal immigration after a more stringent immigration policy was imposed a few months ago.

“The crackdown on our fellow migrant workers in Canada is not only unjust but inhuman and equally terroristic,” said Eni Lestari, chairperson of the IMA, a global alliance of grassroots migrants and immigrants’ organizations. “By branding illegal workers (or those as called holding precarious immigration status) as criminals, the Canadian government is only sowing a climate of fear among the migrant community and terrorizing those who are already in vulnerable situations.”

The CBSA-imposed crackdown, stated Lestari, will only push illegal migrants into more dangerous and slave-like jobs instead of helping them become regular workers in Canada.

Lestari likened the crackdown to the massive arrests, detention, inhuman treatment and deportation of migrants in the U.S. during George W. Bush’s term. “Apparently, Harper is doing a Bush as he seems to be following into the footsteps of his Big Bully Brother.”

Lestari expressed concerns that these state-instigated attacks are an omen of worst things to come for migrant workers not only in Canada but in the rest of the world.

“Stephen Harper’s government is not the only one brandishing its iron fist on migrant workers,” said Lestari. “As the global financial crisis worsens, governments in Europe and several countries in Asia-Pacific are now eyeing migrant workers as their primary targets. From more repressive anti-migrant policies to lower subhuman wages, migrants will face more than just crackdowns and possibly even more brutal racist attacks if such policies are left unchallenged.”

The IMA expressed solidarity and support with migrant organizations and migrants’ rights advocates who are now campaigning for the immediate and unconditional release of all arrested migrants as well as the implementation of a regularization program for all migrant workers as a better alternative.

The IMA also called on all its members and networks in Canada and other global regions to express solidarity with the affected migrant workers there.

“We will not condone these raids. An attack on one migrant is an attack on all of us,” concluded Lestari.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Migrante Ontario rallies against anti-immigrant raids

5 April 2009

We stand together with migrant workers and migrants’ advocates today to condemn the recent raids on workplaces and homes conducted April 3 by immigration enforcement authorities. Close to a hundred people – Chinese, Thai and Filipino among them - were arrested and detained.

We express deep concern for the way these migrants were treated as criminals being handcuffed for hours. Regardless of status, these migrant workers are not criminals. They are “the unrecognized hands that contribute a lot to the economies of the countries they work in and countries where they come from.”

It is regrettable that instead of choosing to implement comprehensive immigration reform that can be just and equitable, the Harper government and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney have chosen the enforcement path as response to the immigration problem.

Undocumented migrants have the same desire just like us to provide for the well being of their families. The existence of undocumented migrants is a part of the whole phenomenon of the forced migration of people and the commodification of human labour.

The worsening economic and political conditions that they faced in their home countries force them to migrate and seek fortune regardless of their status.

Like all migrant workers, they are sources of cheaper and docile labor force found in sweatshops, farms and even in households though where most do not enjoy many benefits and rights that the former enjoy including medical insurance. Despite their status, the contributions of undocumented migrants to the economies of Canada and their home countries are undeniable.

We believe that we need a clear and fair immigration policy.

Crackdown operations must end. Those arrested must be treated humanely and not as criminals.

Non-status workers have human dignity and human rights that should be respected at all costs.

Governments at both provincial and federal levels must work to ensure that the protection of workers must be put in place regardless of the worker’s status.

The Canadian government should initiate a comprehensive review of immigration policy that includes addressing the regularization of non-status migrants.

Migrante Ontario http://migrante.ca/

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Les Philippines: quand l'avenir est ailleurs... | Radio-Canada.ca

Avec cette série de reportages, le journaliste Gino Harel vous propose un survol des principaux enjeux économiques et sociaux auxquels sont confrontées les Philippines. Des enjeux qui, à cause de la crise financière mondiale, doivent être considérés sous un jour nouveau.

Accueil et réportages - Radio-Canada.ca