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Death and despair in Canada's migrant dungeons

Photo: Syn/flickr

One month after the death of 42-year-old hotel worker and Mexican migrant Lucia Vega Jimenez in Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) custody, I received a call from a young Haitian woman at the same prison Lucia had been in. Unlike most detainees, she did not call to ask for legal advice to fight for her release, nor was she seeking support to stop her deportation. She called to ask me if I could find information on preventing the spread of infection. She had just miscarried.

One month after Lucia's death, another migrant death in detention.


The pain and suffering behind Canada's immigration inventory

Photo: nanovivid

It's always been a symbolic reflection of Canadian refugee and immigration policy that the name of the country's largest newcomer processing centre is the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre (GTEC). There is no official welcoming centre for those fleeing persecution and related horrors. Rather, GTEC is a machine devoted to tracking down, detaining and deporting as many people as possible who have been failed by Canada's broken refugee determination process.

Children are the faces of the U.S. immigration crisis

Photo: Living-Learning Programs/flickr
Children are fleeing violence in Central America, seeking safety, at great risk, in distant lands. The issue is widely described in the U.S. as a "border crisis," but it isn't that.

Related story:


Children crossing U.S.-Mexico border face deepening U.S. immigration crisis

Image: Troy Page / t r u t h o u t/flickr

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Have you seen the pictures? All the kids, sleeping on floors in row upon row, detained by the Department of Homeland Security. There are more children coming in every day, and the federal government doesn't know where to keep them.

Talking Radical Radio

End immigration detention: Supporting unjustly detained migrants

October 23, 2013
| Mina Ramos and Macdonald Scott talk about organizing on the outside in support of the largest collective resistance by detained migrants in Canadian history, going on right now.
Length: 28:05 minutes (25.72 MB)

Free Muhammed Sillah!

Muhammed Sillah

Muhammed Sillah has been held at the Immigration Holding Centre Rexdale since the Canadian Border Services arrested him on May 22, 2013.  He was denied refugee status despite the danger he will face if he is deported to Gambia. Despite being granted a stay by the Federal Court he remains in detention. There he has been subjected to racial abuse, inadequate medical services and has been denied visits from family by CBSA officials. published an excellent interview with Mr. Sillah on July 25, 2013


June 17, 2013 |
The federal government made major changes to Canada's refugee policy in 2012.

Canada's culture of mean: Beating up on refugees

Photo: GRC-RCMP/ Frontière-Border/flickr

Toronto's legendary refugee rights lawyer Barb Jackman has a unique way of framing issues at their most human level, an art often lost by those who spend their lives in courts and immigration tribunals fighting for their clients' right not to be deported to torture and other cruelties. Testifying recently before a Senate committee on a repressive piece of deportation legislation, Jackman aptly summed up the mean political culture that increasingly grips the land.


In the spirit of Dr. King, a call for refugee sanctuary

Photo: Revolt! Puppy/Flickr

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The annual mid-January Martin Luther King Day celebrations are generally a frustrating example of how the legacy of a difficult and troubled revolutionary can be co-opted into the image of an acceptable, bland hero who has freeways and monuments named after him.

John Bonnar Audio Blog

Refugee and immigrant rights activists occupy Conservative MP constituency offices

April 5, 2012
| On Wednesday afternoon, refugee and immigrant rights activists occupied five Conservative MP constituency offices to oppose Bill C-31.
Length: 09:37
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