CBSA raid multiple construction sites in Vancouver, accompanied by reality-TV crews
Honduran workers detained after a dramatic bust by Canada Border Service agents Wednesday in Vancouver were asked to sign release forms agreeing to be filmed, says the Canadian wife of one of the two men, yet CBSA still won’t confirm whether a reality TV crew was shooting the takedown.
Diana Thompson said her husband Tulio Renan Avilés Hernandez and the other Honduran national, an 18-year-old named Mario were being held at Vancouver International Airport Thursday morning, but were being moved sometime today to the detention centre downtown. She said they have a hearing in two days and will be detained until then.
She said Avilés Hernandez was asked to sign a release form but was told only that it was to consent to “the camera crew that was there.” She added that her husband was not provided any details about a reality TV show and refused to sign the form.
Canada Border Services agents raided the Porter development on Victoria Drive near 20th Avenue Wednesday searching for illegal migrant workers — all while being shadowed by a camera crew apparently recording footage for a reality TV show. The raid was one of about 10 that reportedly occurred throughout the city.
By mid-morning Thursday, requests to the CBSA to confirm how many raids there were in the city and whether there was a film crew on scene remained unanswered.
Harsha Walia, a spokeswoman for No One is Illegal, a national not for profit organization that advocates for migrant justice, said after speaking with family members she believes at least 29 workers were detained. She said some of them were also picked up at construction sites in Yaletown and one on Granville Street.