FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
People with lived experience in immigration detention will join advocates and experts from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic, the Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity at UBC and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) for a press conference to react to British Columbia’s historic decision to end its immigration detention agreement with the Canada Border Services Agency (CSBA). The agreement currently allows CBSA to incarcerate migrants and refugee claimants on purely administrative grounds in provincial jails. On July 21, 2022, the province announced it will give CBSA 12 months’ notice to stop this practice.
The decision follows the province’s review of its immigration detention agreement, as well as a long period of advocacy including submissions to the BC government during its review of the contract, a 14-Days-of-Action campaign in May, and statements to Vancouver City Council in June resulting in a unanimous vote calling on the province of BC to stop jailing immigration detainees. The advocacy was brought together by a coalition of BC groups, including BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, Swan, Community Legal Assistance Society, Migrant Workers Centre BC, West Coast LEAF, Justice for Girls, BC Prisoner Legal Services, Pivot Legal Society, Rainbow Refugee, VAST, Migrante BC, and BC General Employees’ Union.
WHEN: Thursday, July 28, 2022, at 8:00 am PST / 11:00 pm EST
Teleconference line: 855 703 8985 Canada Toll-free
- Mara Selanders, Policy Staff Counsel (Community), BC Civil Liberties Association
- Samer Muscati, Associate Director, Disability Rights Division, Human Rights Watch
- Julia Sande, Human Rights Law & Policy Campaigner, Amnesty International
- Omar Chu, Community Legal Worker, Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic
- Dr. Mei-ling Wiedmeyer, CGHSE and Department of Family Practice at UBC
- El Jones, award-winning poet, journalist, professor, and activist
- Abdelrahman Elmady, a person with lived experience in immigration detention
- Sara Maria Gomez Lopez, a person with lived experience in immigration detention