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Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter protests the indefinite detention of migrants

Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter outside security prison in Lindsay

The Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter was also at this December 2013 protest on this issue outside the prison in Lindsay.

The Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter joined with Youth 4 Global Change and the End Immigration Detention Network Youth Committee yesterday to rally against the indefinite detention of migrants at a maximum security prison in Lindsay. Chapter members Carol Winter and Roy Brady were there to protest for the third time in fourteen months on this issue.

The Peterborough Examiner reports, “Siblings, parents, friends and grandparents of the youth group, as well as family members of many of the men imprisoned by immigration enforcement raised signs and played drums outside the walls of the superjail. Family members of those who have been detained or those currently detained spoke briefly before the group paraded slowly around the facility, planning to make the most noise around pod three where they said 200 of the immigrants are housed.”

“Organizers stressed it was about families for families in detention, which was the signature name for the rally, and to stand in solidarity with hundreds of families that were impacted by indefinite migrant detention. It was reported 100,000 more people have separated by detention over the past eight years.”

Unlike in the United States or European Union, detainees awaiting deportation can be jailed indefinitely in Canada. While they receive a regular 30-day review hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board, those who can’t be deported – sometimes because their home country is at war or won’t accept them – can wait in jail for months or even years as they await a resolution to their case. The international standard is to limit immigration detention to 90 days, but in Canada there is no such limit. Rabble.ca has noted, “On any given day 600 or more people are trapped in immigration cells across Canada. Over 100 of those are being held on a long-term basis, some of whom have been jailed for more than five years.”

The Council of Canadians is opposed to this indefinite detention particularly in maximum security prisons.

We recognize that historically unequal economic relations, resource exploitation, ‘free trade’ agreements and increasingly climate change create the conditions which contribute to the migration of people, and that migrants face unjust treatment and danger crossing militarized borders as they flee these circumstances. They face further discrimination, racism and hardship as undocumented residents in ‘developed’ countries like Canada that often bear responsibility for the conditions which forced their migration from their home countries.

Further reading
Council joins call to end indefinite detention of migrants in Lindsay jail (December 2013 blog)
Impressive Support In Freezing Weather For Incarcerated Immigration Detainees (December 2013 blog by Michael Butler)