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Immigration Enforcement barred from Anti-Violence Against Women Spaces across GTA. Shelter|Sanctuary|Status demands Status for All.

by Shelter|Sanctuary|Status


Immigration Enforcement barred from Anti-Violence Against Women Spaces across GTA. Shelter|Sanctuary|Status demands Status for All.


Toronto—After two years of organizing and campaigning by unfunded grassroots migrant women of color activists mobilizing with front-line service providers, undocumented women and feminist activists, the Shelter|Sanctuary|Status campaign has forced the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to issue a directive instructing officers to not enter, or wait outside any organization that serves women survivors of violence in the GTA. Immigration enforcement has also been barred from contacting these spaces to inquire about the identity of any undocumented women there. The Campaign is committed to ongoing organizing for a full and comprehensive regularization for all non-status women. A press conference and video launch is being organized on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women at the Toronto Rape Crisis Center, 17 Phoebe Street at 10:30am. Video will be uploaded on the campaign website following the press conference, please keep checking.


After we mobilized across the city, on the streets, at rallies and at press conferences and openly challenged Immigration Enforcement offices, CBSA had no choice but to pass this directive” Farrah Miranda, an activist with the Shelter|Sanctuary|Status Campaign explains. “We insist that deportation is violence, it is violence against women, it is violence against people that live in Toronto and must end,” she added.


No woman or child should have to fear getting support in order to get out of a violent situation. Thanks to the hard work of the Shelter | Sanctuary | Status Campaign it will be significantly safer for survivors of violence to access the services they need,” says Jane Kali, Executive Director of Sistering. “We are not holding our breath to wait and see if the CBSA actually implements this directive. We are getting to work right away, educating the women who use our services and our partner agencies about this directive.


“Undocumented women who are survivors of violence are entitled to legal protection,”says Zahra Dhanani, immigration and refugee lawyer and a member of the Shelter|Sanctuary|Status Campaign. “We will continue to work with agencies in the GTA to ensure access to all services while advocating for a moratorium on deportations of all survivors of violence and for the government to grant them full and permanent status”.


The Shelter|Sanctuary|Status Campaign is part of the Sanctuary City project by No One Is Illegal-Toronto that is organizing to ensure that undocumented people are able to access all municipal and provincial services without fear, and able to work and live with justice and dignity in the Greater Toronto Area without the fear of detention or deportation.

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