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Justice for Lucia Vega Jimenez

On December 20, 2013, a detained migrant worker facing deportation hung herself in Vancouver airport's holding cells. But the journey of Lucia Vega Jimenez, from detention centre to airport and finally to Mount St. Joseph’s hospital - where she lost her life on December 28, 2013 - remained secret. Why is it that the death of an innocent worker, arrested for an unpaid bus ticket, is only reaching the public sphere a month later? What does Canadian Border Services Agency have to hide?

A system of migrant worker oppression, discriminatory and wrongful detentions, coupled with failed refugee claims and deportation orders tell the story of Lucia and many others just like her. Standing up against this systemic racism is a way to fight in Lucia’s honour. 

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Inside the working conditions of migrant workers: Journal seven and epilogue

Wall graffiti written in Chinese on a greenhouse bathroom stall. Photo: Aylwin Lo

In light of the recent tragic incident involving the death of 10 migrant workers in Southern Ontario, I felt it was finally time to take the wraps off of a journal I kept during a two-week trip in early 2004 to investigate the conditions of undocumented Chinese migrant farm workers. I hope this can help shed light on the kinds of conditions faced every day by the people who tend, pick and process the food we eat.

This is the seventh in a series. See here for the first entry.

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Inside the working conditions of migrant workers: Journal six

A list of demands. Photo: Aylwin Lo

In light of the recent tragic incident involving the death of 10 migrant workers in Southern Ontario, I felt it was finally time to take the wraps off of a journal I kept during a two-week trip in early 2004 to investigate the conditions of undocumented Chinese migrant farm workers. I hope this can help shed light on the kinds of conditions faced every day by the people who tend, pick and process the food we eat.

This is the sixth in a series. See here for the first entry.

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Increasing number of migrant labourers in Nova Scotia deserve adequate protection

| March 9, 2012

Inside the working conditions of migrant workers: Journal five

In light of the recent tragic incident involving the death of 10 migrant workers in Southern Ontario, I felt it was finally time to take the wraps off of a journal I kept during a two-week trip in early 2004 to investigate the conditions of undocumented Chinese migrant farm workers. I hope this can help shed light on the kinds of conditions faced every day by the people who tend, pick and process the food we eat.

This is the fifth in a series. See here for the first entry.

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Inside the working conditions of migrant workers: Journal four

View from the writer's bunk. Photo: Aylwin Lo

In light of the recent tragic incident involving the death of 10 migrant workers in Southern Ontario, I felt it was finally time to take the wraps off of a journal I kept during a two-week trip in early 2004 to investigate the conditions of undocumented Chinese migrant farm workers. I hope this can help shed light on the kinds of conditions faced every day by the people who tend, pick and process the food we eat.

This is the fourth in a series. See here for the first entry.

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Inside the working conditions of migrant workers: Journal three

Photo: Aylwin Lo

In light of the recent tragic incident involving the death of 10 migrant workers in Southern Ontario, I felt it was finally time to take the wraps off of a journal I kept during a two-week trip in early 2004 to investigate the conditions of undocumented Chinese migrant farm workers. I hope this can help shed light on the kinds of conditions faced every day by the people who tend, pick and process the food we eat.

This is the third in a series. See here for the first entry.

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Inside the working conditions of migrant workers: Journal two

In light of the recent tragic incident involving the death of 10 migrant workers in Southern Ontario, I felt it was finally time to take the wraps off of a journal I kept during a two-week trip in early 2004 to investigate the conditions of undocumented Chinese migrant farm workers. I hope this can help shed light on the kinds of conditions faced every day by the people who tend, pick and process the food we eat.

This is the second in a series. See here for the first entry.

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Inside a migrant worker transport van

A scan of the classified ad the writer answered. Headline says   "Greenhouse hiring" and body text says "Picking tomatoes." Photo: Aylwin Lo

In light of this week's tragic incident involving the deaths of 10 migrant workers in southern Ontario, I felt it was finally time to -- at least partially -- take the wraps off of a journal I kept during a two-week trip in early 2004 to investigate the conditions of undocumented Chinese migrant farm workers. I hope this can help shed light on the kinds of conditions faced every day by the people who tend, pick, and process the food we eat.

For more about this week's incident see here.

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Peruvian lives on Canada's conscience

"Pilgrimage to Freedom," a 12-hour march organized by migrant workers and J4MW in 2009. Photographer: Gerardo Correa

As the Peruvian immigrant community in Kitchener-Waterloo -- and families at home in Peru -- mourn the loss of 11 of their own in a deadly highway crash in rural Ontario on February 6, at least one Toronto daily newspaper two days later prioritized instead the highway death a single girl (a white, 19-year-old aspiring model), pushing the 11 Peruvian lives to page eight.

This is but a symptom of a larger problem that suggests that white/Canadian lives are more valuable than their non-white/non-Canadian counterparts.

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