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Migrant dignity not migrant death: national actions against detention & enforcement

February 28th, 2014, will mark the two-month anniversary of Lucia Vega Jimenez’s attempted suicide while in immigration enforcement custody awaiting deportation. She died 8 days later. February also marks the five-month anniversary of the historic migrant strike in Lindsay ON against endless detentions, maximum security incarceration and a broken detention review system (to see more information on this event attended by COC members click here).  On any given day in Canada 600 or more people are trapped in immigration cells; over 100 people people are being held on a long term basis, some of which have been held for more than five year, as Canada has no limit on how long people can be held. 

On the 28th, a rally is taking place at Greater Toronto Enforcement Center (for more info this action and actions in Vancouver and Montreal see here), the largest immigration enforcement site in Canada responsible for immigration detention and over 40 deportations a day.

“We will stand outside those doors and hold the CBSA accountable for the death of Lucia Vega Jimenez and everyone else who has died or suffered at the hands of border enforcement.”

“Lucia Vega Jimenez’s death is the latest in a series of suicides, deaths and discrimination at the hands of the CBSA and immigration policy. Just recently, Mohamed, Shyroz and Qyzra Walji killed themselves rather than be deported a day after meeting with enforcement officers. Mr De Souza, a Toronto resident for 25 years, passed away on January 18th and his family was denied City of Toronto funding for a subsidized funeral simply because Mr. De Souza was undocumented. The City asked Mr. De Souza’s family to declare the body abandoned. On Feb 10th 2014, Avery Edison, a British comedian, was denied entry at Pearson airport and was then detained in a male prison, potentially vulnerable to sexual assault and attacks due to her status as a transgender woman.”

For more background on this situation please see: