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Hundreds Mourn Migrant Worker Deaths

Jan. 7, 2010 TORONTO - Hundreds gathered at 2757 Kipling Avenue on Thursday evening, staring at the building from which Alexander Bondorev, Aleksey Blumberg, Fayzullo Fazilov and Vladimir Korostin fell to their death on 24 December 2009. Dilshod Mamurov is still in the hospital.

Saddened and enraged community members from the neighboring buildings joined Toronto residents and unionized workers to pay their respects. In the flickering candlelight, Chris Ramsaroop and Farrah Miranda began the somber gathering.

"Our organizations, No One Is Illegal - Toronto and Justice for Migrant Workers, spend our days in communities working with people without full status that work without protections, that are exploited, that are deported, that are killed. Today is about marking all those deaths, all those injustices".

Israeli Apartheid Week

Mar/01/2010 - 7:00 pm

Immigration Canada Caves in the Face of Organizing

Pura and KenneyFIGHT FOR STATUS FOR ALL CONTINUES

After years of tireless organizing by Caregivers Action Centre, Migrante, and many other groups and allies across the country, Immigration Canada extended the number of years within which Live-In Caregivers can apply for permanent status. Minister Kenney also acceded to removing the second medical test required to gain permanent status. This is proof that grassroots organizing can win changes.

Migrants in Canada under the Live-in Caregiver program (LCP), largely women from Caribbean countries and the Phillipines, must currently complete 2 years of domestic work within 3 years in order to apply for permanent status. The changes announced today would extend the time period from 3 to 4 years, and allow caregivers to count the hours worked towards the 2 years, potentially reducing the amount of time to be able to apply for status. The requirement for a second medical test prior to applying for permanent residence has also been removed for caregivers.

Live-In Caregivers and their allies have won a significant victory in ensuring status for migrants. But these changes are not enough. The LCP still ties a person's immigration status to their employer, and continues to exploit women and put them in a vulnerable position based on their status.

A voice for kids too afraid to go to school

The Toronto Star - Nov. 24, 2009
Nicholas Keung
Immigration Reporter

Gerald and Kimberly Lizano-Sossa from Costa Rica. Mathew Nguyen from France. Rawad Reda from Lebanon. Sarah Leonty from St. Lucia.

These youths, at one point or another living without legal status in the GTA, represent the otherwise voiceless and faceless people too afraid to attend school for fear they will be detained or deported.

Three years after their publicized stories prompted the Toronto District School Board to adopt the "don't ask don't tell" policy – keeping its schools from asking a student's immigration status at enrolment – advocates say non-status students continue to be hassled or are refused enrolment.

In an attempt to better inform school employees – from principals to office clerks – about board policy, advocates, with the support of Ontario elementary and secondary school teachers' unions, have launched a self-made video.

Shelter Sanctuary Status: An Evening of Resistance

Nov/25/2009 - 6:00 pm

Nov 25 SSS EventJoin SHELTER SANCTUARY STATUS for

AN EVENING OF RESISTANCE
Because DEPORTATION IS VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

WED, NOV 25, 2009
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
6pm Registration, 6:30-8:30pm
Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Ave.)
Speakers, Theatre, Poetry, Music and more...

Every year, tens of thousands of women and trans-people travel across borders and check-points, empty their savings and make the difficult journey to Canada, leaving behind homes, families and sometimes children in search of safety. For economic security. For refuge. Often entering a system of temporary, exploitative work. Live-In Care-Givers and other migrant workers are being treated like disposable commodities by Canada. Women fighting back against violence are being denied status. Working for years. Unable to bring their families. Unable to unionize.

Enraged by this treatment and inspired by the victories of the DADT campaign in Toronto schools, the Women's Movement has risen up to demand Status for All. Shelters have opened their doors further to non-status women. Rape/Trauma Crisis Centres, Group Counseling Homes, Anti-VAW Shelters, Agencies and Community Organizations have organized to provide basic and essential support services to survivors of violence while mobilizing and advocating for a full regularization program.

Stop Detentions! Stop Deportations! Status for All!

-- a statement on the detained Tamil Refugees and the Canadian Refugee system --

written by No One Is Illegal-Toronto and Tamil Youth Organization

Seventy six people from military occupied north and east Sri Lanka arrived off the coast of BC in a ship on Friday, 16 October, claiming refugee status. All but one of the men, ethnically Tamil, are still imprisoned. Days after their arrival, Kenney cut Canada's refugee acceptance targets by 60%, limiting acceptance to no more than 9,000 - 12,000 people a year. In 2008, the quota was 22,000-29,000 a year. Without any consultation, the Immigration Minister has undemocratically and fundamentally changed Canada's refugee system. The Immigration Minister has tried to belittle these migrants, calling their journey a justification for further changes.

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