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News reports/stories on immigration

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".

Worker 'didn't feel safe' before scaffold collapsed

Labourers who fell to their deaths had noticed the stage that supported them was sagging. But did they know they could refuse unsafe work?

January 23, 2010
Peter Edwards
The Toronto Star

Immigrant highrise workers talked of on-the-job safety worries before four of them fell 13 storeys to their deaths on Christmas Eve, their widows say.

Vladimir Korostin, 40, a father of two, voiced his concerns about a scaffold – or "swing stage" – used at a highrise project just days before he fell to his death while repairing balconies at an apartment complex at 2757 Kipling Ave., said his ex-wife Irina Cherniakova, 37.

"He was scared to step on it (the swing stage). A day or two before the accident, he said the swing was sagging. He mentioned that he didn't feel safe enough at work."

Oksana Afanasenko, 27, the widow of Aleksey Blumberg, 33, said her husband also had safety concerns about the job, which involved repairing 252 aging balconies.

Asylum seekers' success rate plunges under Tory government

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Number of refugee claims approved drops 56 per cent amid immigration overhaul

November 2, 2009
Bill Curry
The Globe and Mail

The number of refugees gaining asylum in Canada has dropped dramatically under the Conservatives as new figures reveal the impact of the government's efforts to transform this country's immigration system.

New statistics released by the government show the number of successful claims by refugees living in Canada fell to less than half of what it was when the Conservatives came to office.

The final immigration numbers for 2008 – as well as future projections – come as Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is promising to refocus Canada's refugee system on what the government calls “real victims” rather than migrants seeking to abuse the process.

Mexican woman deported to her death

Posted in

October 23, 2009
Nicholas Keung
The Toronto Star

"A woman between the ages of 20 and 30 was found murdered – and with evidence of childbirth – with blows to her body and a bullet in the forehead, a classic revenge from drug trafficking," said a June 5 story in the Mexican newspaper El Informador de Jalisco.

A death certificate later classified the woman's death as a homicide.

What the coroner's office didn't mention was that the 24-year-old murder victim and her mother and sister had twice sought refuge in Canada, in 2004 and 2008, from drug traffickers. The same men are thought to have kidnapped and killed young Grise, leaving the fate of her baby unknown, after she was forced back to Mexico.

Grise's tragic death highlights the need to give refugees a right to appeal when their applications are rejected, say Toronto advocates.

Adil Charkaoui is Free

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Adil Charkaoui

ctvmontreal.ca

Six years after the federal government declared him a terrorist and severely restricted his freedom of movement, Adil Charkaoui is a free man.

On Thursday a federal court revoked his security certificate, and lifted all the other restrictions on Charkaoui.

He celebrated the decision by cutting off the electronic leash he's been forced to wear for years.

"Six years of deprivation of freedom, two years in jail, four years with this bracelet and draconian conditions," said Charkaoui.

Sheikh family separated by Canadian deportation order

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Family ties
July 16th, 2009
Stefan Christoff - thehour.ca

Montreal - Immigration Canada has deported a Pakistani family from Parc Ex.

Sabir Mohammed and his wife Seema Sheikh were deported, while their children Ashrah Sheikh (26), Tayyaba Sheikh (23), Sami Sheikh (21) and Canadian-born Sabrina Sheikh (5 years) will remain in Canada for the time being. Although the Sheikh children aren't immediately facing deportation, an order from Immigration Canada is pending as a judicial review on their file is carried out by immigration authorities.

"What is happening to my family is wrong, and it is good to see that so many people are against this injustice," explained Sheikh just prior to his deportation.

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