Joining the Fight to End Immigration Detention in BC Jails

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Dear Friend,

Can you imagine being detained with no end in sight? That’s the reality for tens of thousands of people seeking safety or a better life in this country.

On Wednesday, the BCCLA and a coalition of organizations launched 14 days of action to call on the Province of British Columbia to end its agreement with Canada Border Services Agency (CSBA). The agreement allows for the detention of immigrants and refugee claimants in provincial jails.

Take action – find out how you can participate in the 14 days of action here.

Every year, Canada incarcerates hundreds of people on immigration-related grounds in dozens of provincial jails across the country. People in immigration detention are regularly handcuffed, shackled, restricted to small spaces with rigid routines, and placed under constant surveillance. This unjust practice must end.

The 14 days of action lead up to a Vancouver City Council motion to be introduced on May 17 calling on the province to end their agreement with CBSA... which is under review by the BC Minister of Public Safety.

The coalition has highlighted concerns with detention including that jailing people for purely immigration purposes may violate the BC Human Rights Code’s protection from discrimination. Furthermore, the CBSA’s practices in immigration detention are discriminatory against people with mental health conditions. Immigration detainees from racialized communities, primarily detainees who are Black, are incarcerated for longer periods and are more frequently held in provincial jails.

Read more about the 14 days of action and take action here.

The BCCLA urges Vancouver City Council to send a strong message to the Province of British Columbia when this historic motion is heard later this month. It’s time for the provincial government to prioritize the health and well-being of immigrants and refugees and end its agreement with CBSA allowing immigration detainees to be housed in provincial jails.

Thank you for standing with us.

Sincerely,

Mara Selanders (she/her)
Staff Council, Policy

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