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Supporters demand justice, proper medical attention for Lucy Granados, who faces deportation Friday, April 13, 2018

Press Release

Montreal, 11 April 2018 – Supporters of Lucy Francineth Granados demand recourse for rights violations as well as appropriate medical attention for the single mother of three, who is facing deportation to Guatemala on April 13th, after living in Montreal for nine years. On Monday, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) refused to grant an administrative stay of deportation to Lucy; on Tuesday, the agency opposed her motion to be heard by the Federal Court.

“How can we accept a society in which our neighbours are brutalized by the CBSA and then, when they object, rushed out of the country – with injuries inflicted by the CBSA unhealed? Where is the justice, where is the humanity if there is no way to hold the CBSA accountable for its actions towards migrants?” asked William Van Driel, a member of Solidarity Across Borders and a friend of Lucy’s.

“We have filed a human rights complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission on behalf of Lucy. We are appalled by the physical and psychological injury inflicted on her by the CBSA, the way that the advice of independent medical experts has been set aside and Lucy’s health treated with cavalier indifference while in CBSA custody. We believe that the CBSA has cruelly violated her human rights,” said Immigrant Workers Centre organizer Viviana Medina.

“The CHRC seems to be the only way Lucy can seek redress against the CBSA. However, legal experts tell us that people like Lucy with precarious status have been excluded in the past. It is also so limited that we were not able to include significant CBSA legal abuse, where a CBSA officer made a false representation to Lucy’s lawyer,” added Van Driel. “We are further concerned that the complaint will not proceed if Lucy is deported, as CBSA seems very intent on.”

“We have 48-hours to stop Lucy’s deportation and we must continue to fight, not only for this member of our community but for her children as well,” said Rehana Hashmi, initiator of the Mothers for Lucy Sit-in outside CBSA offices, which enters its 7th day today.

“So far Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale have failed to show their humanity, or to acknowledge the widespread public support for Lucy, or even to carry out their legal duties by responding to Lucy’s application for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds. But I have hope they still will,” added Hashmi. Over 10,000 Canadians have signed a petition in support of the undocumented Montrealer, and public letters have been launched at several universities with signatures from hundreds of academics and students.

On Tuesday, Granados’ lawyers turned to the Federal Court in a bid to stop the federal government from deporting her and to force Immigration Minister Hussen to respond to Lucy’s application for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds (filed in September 2017). However, the CBSA is asking that Lucy not even be heard by the court.

“We call upon the Canadian government to fulfill its human rights obligations and act on its stated promises to protect the health and well-being of migrants. Lucy’s story shows that the well-being of migrant women like Lucy is not a priority for the Canadian government, and that there is extremely limited legal recourse to challenge this.” added Medina.

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Immigrant Workers Centre iwc-cti.org Tél. 514 342 2111

Timeline: www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/timeline

Let Lucy Stay Campaign page: https://bit.ly/2GrwsZk

Solidarity Across Borders solidaritesansfrontieres@gmail.com www.solidarityacrossborders.org  514-222-0205, 514 894 2455, 514-992-1662

Lucy Granados: Health Professionals and Friends Fear Long-Term Impact of CBSA Abuse

Lucy_sit-in

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir Un sit-in pour appuyer la cause de Mme Granados a été organisé au début de la semaine, à Montréal.

 

Press Release

 

Abuse Human Rights Complaint against CBSA actions at Quebec Commission des droits de la personne in preparation

 

5 April 2018, Montreal — Friends and health professionals today provided disturbing details of the CBSA’s treatment of Lucy Francineth Granados and its impact on the 42-year old single mother. Lucy is currently in immigration detention and faces deportation to Guatemala on Friday, April 13th. Despite Montreal’s aspirations to be a sanctuary city, Lucy was arrested by the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) in Montreal on March 20th.

 

Lucy’s arrest involved “unnecessary and disproportionate physical force – with at least one CBSA agent grabbing her left arm and neck forcefully, resulting in their injury” says a recent psychiatric report citing Lucy. The report continues, “When interviewed, she wore a sling on her left arm and could not move it during the interview. … There is a 10cm diameter bruising and swelling at the back of her neck, evident 5 days after the arrest. Ms Granados stated that she was neither dangerous nor threatening during the arrest but that she was in a significant state of panic. Since then, Ms Granados has been having flashbacks of her arrest.”

 

The report concludes that Lucy is suffering from Acute Stress Disorder resulting from her arrest. She is at risk of developing PTSD if there are “ongoing life stressors” such as continued detention and deportation.

 

“Lucy Francineth Granados has suffered the impact of precarity on her physical and psychological health for many years. Since she was arrested, her health has greatly deteriorated. Detention, the stress and fear imposed on her can have long-term negative effects on her health,” corroborated Nazila Bettache, a doctor and specialist in internal medicine at the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, adding “This must cease immediately, to allow her to regain the stability she needs”.

 

According to this doctor, after being detained, Lucy has had an incident of loss of consciousness with possible cardiac arrest, and was twice sent for emergency hospitalization. A third time, she was brought to the detention centre infirmary.

 

In the hospital, Lucy’s feet were shackled together, despite the presence of two CBSA guards at the door. She was not permitted any calls or visitors. The CBSA did not inform her lawyer of Lucy’s hospitalization on either occasion. For several hours, friends were unable to locate her.

 

“I have seen my friend become so disoriented by the aftershocks of her violent arrest that she could not finish a sentence without breaking into tears. I have seen my friend’s suffering ignored, minimized and exacerbated as if she did not have the capacity to feel pain, loss, humiliation, sadness.” said Alonso Gamarra, a friend who has been regularly visiting her in detention. “In the visiting room, she repeated what she’d been saying to me on the phone since Thursday: ‘I don’t even know what my name is anymore,’” he added.

 

The psychiatric evaluation states that Lucy’s emotional well-being had suffered since 2012, when her refugee claim was refused. It notes an increase in her symptoms of being “sad, discouraged, persistently anxious” with “recurrent and frequent panic attacks” since a phone call by a CBSA agent to Lucy’s lawyer in late January.

 

“This agent informed Lucy’s lawyer that her application for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds – her only means of regularizing her status in Canada – would not be opened unless she turned herself in for arrest and deportation. This was not only a false threat (the file had already been opened), but a misrepresentation of the law, which obliges the Minister to review all applications.” explained Amy Darwish of Solidarity Across Borders.

 

Lucy’s many supporters have spoken out against the treatment of their friend and, with the help of the Immigrant Workers Centre, are currently preparing a human rights complaint at Quebec’s Commission des droits de la personne.

 

“We don’t want to let this pass in silence, as though it were normal. But, we are concerned that, in order to hide their illegal and abusive behaviour, CBSA will not give fair consideration to Lucy’s application for a stay of deportation, first filed on 23 March. Her lawyer has still received no response to this application. Until she receives a response, Lucy will not be able to go to Federal Court to try to stop the deportation. We fear there won’t be enough time. We want Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to act.” said Darwish.

 

Despite support for Lucy across the country, including an on-going Sit-In at Montreal CBSA offices launched Tuesday, federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale have so far failed to show any humanity or compassion.

 

Lucy has lived in Montreal for nine years where she actively contributes to community groups working for the rights of other undocumented women and workers.

 

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Contact: Immigrant Workers Centre iwc-cti.org Tél. 514 342 2111

 

Timeline: www.solidarityacrossborders.org/en/timeline
Let Lucy Stay Campaign page: https://bit.ly/2GrwsZk
Source: Solidarity Across Borders solidaritesansfrontieres@gmail.com www.solidarityacrossborders.org 514-992-1662, 438 933 7654, 514 222 0205 &
Immigrant Workers Centre iwc-cti.org Tél. 514 342 2111

Le regroupement régional se retire du processus gouvernemental

Communiqué de presse — Pour publication immediate

 

Le regroupement régional chargé des consultations locales sur la discrimination systémique et le racisme annonce qu’il se retire du processus gouvernemental

 

Saguenay, 3 novembre 2017 – Le regroupement régional d’organismes chargé de mener
les consultations locales dans le cadre de la « Consultation sur la discrimination
systémique et le racisme au Québec », devenue le « Forum sur la valorisation de la
diversité et la lutte contre la discrimination », annonce qu’il se retire du processus dans
la foulée des évènements conduisant au retrait du mandat confié à la Commission des
droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (CDPDJ) par le Gouvernement du
Québec et au changement de cap ayant pour effet de réduire considérablement les
champs de la consultation initiale confiée aux 31 organismes locaux.

 

En outre, la proposition contractuelle actuelle, qui a tardé à être acheminée aux
organismes et dont les résultats doivent être livrés d’ici le 15 décembre, prévoit
notamment que les données recueillies au cours de la consultation demeurent la
propriété exclusive du ministère. Ceci implique qu’elles ne pourront être utilisées par des
organismes comme les nôtres en vue d’établir des orientations ou de cibler des
interventions appropriées tenant compte des faits observés. Ainsi, il est fort déplorable
qu’un tel travail de cueillette de données ne produirait aucune retombée concrète pour
les partenaires régionaux.

 

Les organismes partenaires désirent lancer un message aux personnes racisées et aux
personnes issues de l’immigration dans la région du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean à l’effet que
leur témoignage est important et peut servir à changer les choses. Dans le cas où d’autres
formes de consultation seraient envisagées, le regroupement pourrait se montrer
favorable à y participer, dans la mesure où celles-ci respecteraient certaines conditions.
Néanmoins, le regroupement aura permis à cinq organismes de pouvoir collaborer
positivement. Ceux-ci voient dans cette opportunité une incitation à travailler de nouveau
ensemble dans l’avenir sur les sujets liés à la discrimination systémique et au racisme.

 

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Agency Workers Have the Right to Holiday Pay. Did you get yours?

Agency Workers Have the Right to Holiday Pay.
Did you get yours?

If you didn’t receive your holiday pay on May 21st, June 24th, or July 1st, bring your pay stubs to 4755 Van Horne, Suite 110 (near Metro Plamondon), on July 6th at 3:30pm. The Temporary Agency Worker’s Association can help you claim it.

https://www.facebook.com/events/500870933314562

Help us Keep the Immigrant Workers Centre open

The Immigrant Workers Centre has experienced one of it busiest years as more and more courageous workers, sometimes without status, fighting for respect and protection against bosses, who believe that workplace abuse is justified particularly if the worker is a recent immigrant or someone without status. Staff and volunteers at the centre accompany workers in their fight back. For individuals with grievances, it takes many hours to prepare cases, do the research, support given to workers and with determination to win, there have been setting precedents cases against all odds. And we do win. Examples include unemployment and occupational health benefits for those who have lost jobs as temporary foreign workers. In another case, a worker was given severance benefits far beyond what she would have received from the Commission des Normes de Travail. We see the daily abuses of the Temporary Foreign Workers Program and help workers navigate the complexities of it.
But this is not enough. We go beyond individual successes in two ways. First, we campaign for policy change. We are working in two areas: Temporary Placement Agency Work, and the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. We describe these campaigns in the accompanying newsletter. Second and perhaps more important, workers themselves, are the spokespeople and witnesses for these campaigns. The IWC is a political project in the sense that it supports building power and a collective voice for immigrant workers, both with and without status. This is the exciting part of the work and the most inspiring. Recently we held a meeting that brought together approximately 60 workers, domestics, and those employed through temporary employment agencies and those in the temporary foreign workers program. They shared stories of the abuse and exploitation but more important worked together to present demands to the Quebec Minister of Labour. The minister’s office met to discuss these issues. We will share more as the process unfolds.

This letter is to ask for your financial support. Despite the successes and the important achievements of the IWC during the past year, there have been many months where we had to decide whether to delay the rent or pay, often for weeks at a time. Currently, volunteers carry out most of the work at the centre with one person currently on staff, one on a short-term grant from Emploi Quebec and the other on a special grant from that office. We have made progress with trade unions and are in discussion with several of the large unions in Quebec for support. There is a growing understanding of the importance of the IWC as a component of the broader labour movement. Both temporary placement agencies and the Temporary Foreign Workers program are part of a wider attack on the living standards of all workers. Unions understand the importance of the IWC in organizing and supporting those workers. Our longer-term goal with the unions is to raise enough on a recurrent basis to pay the salary of one organizer. We continue to apply for both government and foundation grants and enter into partnerships with academic projects, but with limited success in an environment of budget compression. We need your help. If you support the goals of the centre please give generously and support our campaigns for justice for immigrant and migrant workers!

Sincerely

Eric Shragge

President

Board of Directors

Please donate through Paypal on our website  http://iwc-cti.ca/ You can give a single donation or a recurrent monthly donation.

Or you can make a check payable to the Immigrant Workers Centre and mail it to our office 4755 Van Horne #110 Montreal Quebec H3W 1H8

Photos of Mayworks 2013!! performances and skits by Immigrant workers depicting their struggles!

http://quelquesnotes.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/110513-2/

Precarious Worker Campaign Media

=>(english) http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2013/05/01/quebec-foreign-worker-agricultural.html

=>(english) http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Foreign+workers+face+changing+landscape/8323510/story.html

=>(francais) http://www.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/societe/2013/04/05/003-travailleurs-immigrants-protection.shtml

=>(francaise) http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/actualites-en-societe/377067/le-cauchemar-de-maher