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NOII in the News

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Community demands access to education without fear

January 7, 2010
Toronto’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy remains unenforced in many schools
James Burrows, News Editor
Ryerson Free Press

No One Is Illegal believes that to label a person “illegal” is to deny them of their humanity and to create a community that is constantly in fear.

This is the message that Grade 10 students at Harbord Collegiate received when they packed into their auditorium for a presentation by No One is Illegal and a documentary entitled Education not Deportation.
No One Is Illegal describes themselves as “a group of immigrants, refugees and allies who fight for the rights of all migrants to live with dignity and respect. We believe that granting citizenship to a privileged few is part of racist immigration and border policies designed to exploit and marginalize migrants.”

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.

Marchers protest migrants' roundup

Posted in

Advocates decry raids that led to deportation of foreign workers

May 03, 2009
Nicholas Keung

More than 800 people took over parts of downtown Toronto yesterday to
protest against what they call U.S.-style sweeps by Canadian border
officials last month that saw foreign labourers arrested en masse,
detained and deported immediately.

Amid a downpour, protesters waved placards that read "Stop the Raids" and
"Workers' Rights are Human Rights," while chanting "We didn't cross the
border; the border crossed us," marching from Allan Gardens to City Hall.

"We are here to send a message to (Immigration Minister) Jason Kenney to
stop deportation of these workers and immediately grant them immigrant
status," said Chris Ramsaroop of the group, Justicia for Migrant Workers.

The rally, organized by No One Is Illegal, an immigrant and refugee rights

Protests respond to Ontario immigration raids

Apr 5 Raid Demoby Faria Kamal, Chris Ramsaroop and Syed Hussan | April 8, 2009

Nearly 200 outraged community and labour activists rattled the fences of Rexdale Immigration Detention Centre on April 5, demanding the release of over 100 undocumented workers arrested during unprecedented immigration raids across southwestern Ontario.

Chanting ‘No One Is Illegal! Stop deporting people,’ ‘We didn’t cross the borders, the borders crossed us’ and ’Justice for migrant workers,’ teachers, lawyers and organizers from OSSTF D12, Parkdale Legal Community Services, Mujeres Al Frente, the Sikh Activist Network, the Good Jobs Coalition, CUPE, UFCW, CAW, OPSEU and many others joined family members and friends on Sunday morning. Organized by No One is Illegal-Toronto, Migrante Ontario and Justicia for Migrant Workers, the spirited action was in response to three separate but coordinated attacks against undocumented communities.

Out to change 'regressive' immigration system

Posted in

October 01, 2008
Nicholas Keung
The Toronto Star

Weeks before this summer's Status for All rally in Toronto, Sultana Jahangir knocked on apartment doors in Crescent Town urging neighbours to march in solidarity with migrants and refugees.

This spring, after Ottawa tabled the controversial immigration reform bill, Faria Kamal handed out flyers and helped organize public forums in opposition to the changes.

And in January, when a failed refugee claimant, a quadriplegic, was due for deportation, Gurratan Singh Dhaliwal helped organize a protest in his Sikh community.

Jahangir is a Toronto community worker and mother; Kamal, a clinical psychology postgraduate student from Markham, and Dhaliwal, a Mississauga law student. All are part of a grassroots social movement spreading across the GTA and other Canadian cities to put immigrant and refugee issues high on the political agenda.

Protest highlights plight of refugee claimants

Ottawa must stop deportation orders against women who fled violence, rally told
October 03, 2008 - The Toronto Star

Twenty-three-year-old Ana, tall and sombre, marched with more than 100 others yesterday down the middle of Yonge St. to support Isabel Garcia, an asylum seeker who has gone underground in Toronto to avoid being deported. But she was marching for herself, too.

Ana's father paid 2 million pesos ransom for her and her brother after they were kidnapped in Mexico by "people involved with the police." After moving around the country three times to evade more violence, she was handed her passport and a plane ticket by her father and fled to Toronto two years ago. In August, the Immigration and Refugee Board turned down her refugee claim. She is appealing to Federal Court.

The single board officer hearing her case "asked me why my father couldn't do something" to protect her.

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