Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) strongly condemns the immigration raid that occurred near Leamington on May 1st, International Workers’ Day. This workplace raid serves to criminalize migrant farm workers and create a chilling effect throughout the community. While details are still emerging about the specifics of the raid, previous workplace raids have predominantly targeted temporary foreign workers and non-status residents of the Windsor Essex community.
This most recent workplace raid should not be seen as an isolated incident but part of a broader immigration strategy undertaken by Canada’s Liberal government to attack working-class migrants and deny them the dignity to work free from state intimidation and harassment.
By enabling employers to use Canada’s immigration laws to divide workers based on immigration status, gender, race, and nationality, the government itself is complicit in creating the conditions that enable employers, recruiters and contractors to exploit migrant workers. By poisoning water through resource extraction, filing the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, and violating Indigenous sovereignty, Canadian business interests are also complicit in creating the conditions that displace communities in the Global South. Canadian foreign policies work in tandem with state immigration policies to create a mobile yet indentured workforce in which migrants have neither the freedom to stay or the freedom the move on their own terms.
While the federal Liberals proclaim the rhetoric of an open, inclusive and tolerant approach to immigration, immigration raids dispel this myth. J4MW strongly denounces immigration raids as an insidious capitalist strategy to divide and rule. We call on all allies to support an end to draconian immigration raids.
Things you can do to take action:
- Call or write Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen (phone: 613-995-0777 or 613-954-1064 and 416-656-2526; email: Ahmed.Hussen@parl.gc.ca and email@example.com) and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale (phone: 613-947-1153; 306-585-2202, and 613-991-2924; email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Hon.email@example.com):
- Ask them to take action on the points listed below.
- Call, email or text your friends, asking them to join you in demanding an end to workplace raids.
- Share a solidarity image with the migrant workers on social media using the hashtags #statusnow and #endtheraids and tag Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.
- On Twitter: @AhmedDHussen & @RalphGoodale
- On Facebook: @AhmedHussenLib & @ralphgoodale.
Urge them to take immediate steps to ensure:
Permanent status on arrival for migrant workers
An end to deportations and repatriations
Equal access to social entitlements
An end to the power that contractors and recruiters exert over migrant workers.