Event July 12th calls to condemn separation of families, “migrant detention centres”, inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and scrap Safe Third Country Act

Toronto, Ontario: On Friday July 12th, Torontonians concerned about the unjust and inhumane treatment of migrants and asylum seekers in both Canada and the United States will deliver demands to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland. The group will be led by a coalition of Toronto-based racial and migrant justice organizations that includes No One Is Illegal - Toronto, Showing Up for Racial Justice - Toronto, No More Silence, IfNotNow and the Syria Solidarity Collective.

During the event, the groups will collectively express their concern and outrage over the unjust practice of

immigration detention in the United States, as well as in Canada where detainees can face detention in

maximum security facilities without charges or a trial, sometimes indefinitely. They will also voice their

opposition to an outdated law called the “Safe Third Country Agreement” and it’s expansion to all i5 countries that include the UK, Australia and New Zealand, that prevents most people fleeing violence or persecution from seeking refuge in Canada if they. have applied and been denied elsewhere, first.

“We refute settler colonial government's authority to determine who comes and goes on Indigenous lands - no one is illegal on our territories. We say refugees and their families are welcome here! Let them all in!” says Audrey Huntley of No More Silence.

“When we speak about the Holocaust, about the Nazi concentration camps, about industrial-scale dehumanization of minorities, we say Never Again. The time to turn that belief into action is today,” says Daniel Karasik of IfNotNow. “The facilities where migrants are imprisoned in the United States are concentration camps, their conditions tantamount to torture, while Canada continues to build new immigration prisons and lock up migrants indefinitely without charge. At IfNowNow, we call on our own Jewish community in particular to say, loudly, that this is unacceptable. Not long ago, we were the refugees Canada turned away.”

"We condemn the concentration camp style detention of migrants and migrant children in the US while pointing out that detentions of migrants (including children) continue and are on the increase in Canada. Canadian authorities are quietly expanding migrant detention facilities coast to coast as we speak. We have a horrendous and internationally condemned record of human rights violations regarding our detention of migrants. As the climate crisis looms, and Canada’s involvement in global political destabilization comes more and more to the forefront - we must fight for those on the move. No one should be jailed for exercising their human right to migrate. We demand an end to all detentions and deportations. We continue to fight for the freedom to move, freedom to stay, freedom to return." - Maya Menezes, No One Is Illegal Toronto.

The group will call on Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland to demand that the Government of Canada:

1. Condemn President Donald Trump’s separation of families and inhumane treatment of asylum seekers, and publicly call for the closure of the United States’ concentration camps;

2. Scrap the Safe Third Country Agreement, which refuses refugee claimants who enter Canada via the

United States, and allow people who have made an asylum claims in the United States to make a refugee claim in Canada; and

3. End the unjust practice of immigration detention. The event will begin at 11:30 AM at Matt Cohen Park. It will feature a series of speakers from the organizing coalition.

The group will then bring their demands to the office of Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, at 510 - 344 Bloor Street West.

Media contacts:

Audrey Huntley, No More Silence

(647) 981-2918

Maya Menezes, No One Is Illegal Toronto

(647) 832-3963


About No One Is Illegal Toronto: No One Is Illegal is a migrant justice movement rooted in anti-colonial,

anti-capitalist, ecological justice, Indigenous self-determination, anti-occupation & anti-oppressive


About Showing Up For Racial Justice Toronto: SURJ Toronto is a local chapter of an international network

organizing white people to support racial justice and decolonization movements.

About No More Silence: No More Silence aims to develop an inter/national network to support the work being done by activists, academics, researchers, agencies and communities to stop the murders and

disappearances of Indigenous women.

About Syria Solidarity Collective: The Syria Solidarity Collective is a Toronto based anti-oppression group which strives for social justice for people in Syria.

About IfNotNow Toronto: A movement in Toronto to end the North American Jewish community's support for the occupation in Israel/Palestine, and to win freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians.