Beached: Canada Holds Tamil Refugees Amid Media Cries of "Terror"

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 Public officials and media outlets have continued to perpetuate false and dehumanizing stereotypes of the asylum-seekers as ‘illegals’, ‘criminals’, and so-called queue jumpers. The label of “security threat is” itself is rooted in racist stereotypes and generalized prejudgments of Tamils as potential terrorists. This deliberately created hysteria appeals to conservative fears of refugees, and anti-immigrant advocates like Paul Fromm and the Aryan Guard have gained ground in protesting for the ship to be sent back.

This public fear-mongering is just another tactic to disguise the racist policies that define the history and ongoing realities of Canada’s immigration system. It fits perfectly into Minister of Censorship and Deportation Jason Kenney’s plan to increase detentions and deportation of refugees and undocumented migrants, while bringing in more temporary exploitable migrant labour. Since the Conservatives came into in power, the number of approved asylum claims has dropped by 56%. Kenney’s 2009 report reveals a decreasing “target” of 11,000 people to be accepted refugees and sponsored family members.

Now Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has declared that Cabinet is drafting new policies to “make this country less welcoming for future shipments of human cargo.”

In the face of escalating attacks against these asylum-seekers, No One is Illegal-Vancouver asserts the basic human right to safety, mobility, and protection. The only crime the migrants have committed is make a long and dangerous journey, transgressing this imposed border. It is well known that Tamils in Sri Lanka are fleeing military atrocities including arbitrary detentions, indiscriminate killings, and mass displacement into refugee camps. We continue to call for the immediate release of all the detainees and demand their collective right to stay in Canada with dignity.
 
photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nooneisillegal/4889438952/


 
NOII Press Release Uphold the Rights of Tamil Migrants aboard MV Sun Sea!
http://noii-van.resist.ca/?p=2151

 

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