Last week, on August 14th, an early morning traffic check of vehicles, became the end of the road for several undocumented workers in Toronto.Listen
Canada Border Services Agency officers took part in the vehicle inspections, and dealt with the people inside the cars. 21 people were arrested for immigration violations such as overstaying their visas or avoiding previously scheduled removals.
Tings Chak is an organizer with No One Is Illegal in Toronto. She says the majority of the group were from Latin America, but there were some East Asians involved as well. All but two of the people were deported yesterday.
‘It has really spread fear and spread a message among immigrant communities and racialized people…’
Tings Chak says her group is concerned about the provincial government working with federal border officials in this way. ‘This traffic stop was used as a way to enforce immigration’ she says.
Syed Hussan, a spokesperson for No One Is Illegal, spoke to the Toronto Star newspaper earlier this week and accused the provincial government of racial profiling. Hussan said the passengers arrested were ‘coerced’ in to providing their identification. In detention they were forced to sign documents, without translation, that waived their right to a pre-removal risk assessment to ascertain whether it is safe for them to be deported back to their country of origin.
No One is Illegal has organized a petition asking Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne to declare Ontario a ‘sanctuary province’. The group is considering filing a human rights complaint over the alleged racial profiling.