This past Thursday, the Canadian Border Services Agency (or CBSA) with the help of the (OPP) Ontario Provincial Police, arrested 21 undocumented workers during what both agencies called a “vehicle safety blitz”. Their co-operation in this action constitutes a serious breach of public trust by using racial profiling in order to detain undocumented workers under the pretense of public safety. For those of you that would like to read further here is a link to a post by the CBC: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/cbsa-immigration-arrests-during-spot-checks-stir-controversy-1.2738337
In light of actions taken by the Canadian Border Services Agency (or CBSA) and the OPP, our “Know your rights” article, written by the Avenida Magazine staff along with the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) is available below. Please use the article below and the information within as a resource if you are undocumented labourer and are stopped by CBSA.
Here is a guide from the organization No One Is Illegal that provides basic legal information to people without immigration status, so that they will be able to protect themselves from the risks of immigration arrest and detention.
1. You have the right to privacy and silence in your own home.
2. Ask to see an arrest warrant and a special entry warrant before opening your door to CBSA (Canada Border Service Agency).
3. You must identify yourself if stopped by police while driving a car or riding a bike you need not answer further questions.
4.You do not have to identify yourself if stopped by police on the street unless you are under arrest.
This summer, Avenida staff and the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) collaborated at the Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples to share our experiences with the immigration system and the law.
As the workshop was geared towards youth, the facilitators from OJEN presented interactive skits for youth to act out such as being confronted by authority figures questioning their immigration status. What we learned through these skits is that no matter what someone’s status is in this country, we all have the right to silence in our own homes. You can remain as quiet as you’d like even if immigration officials are demanding you to open the door. When in school, leg Know Your Rights! ally speaking, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) is not allowed within the Toronto District School Board. The CBSA also does not have the power to arrest you.
For further information about who Ontario Justice Education Network are and what they do visit www.ojen.ca