"No One Is Illegal": The Fight for Refugee and Migrant Rights in Canada. (Roundtable Report)

By Lowry, Michelle; Nyers, Peter | Refuge, May 2003 | Go to article overview

"No One Is Illegal": The Fight for Refugee and Migrant Rights in Canada. (Roundtable Report)


Lowry, Michelle, Nyers, Peter, Refuge


Abstract

On 8 December 2002, a roundtable discussion was held with members of the Action Committee for Non-Status Algerians (Montreal), the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (Toronto), and No One Is Illegal (Montreal). In this transcription of the discussion, the non-status Algerian refugees share their experiences of living in Canada without formal status, a situation which they characterize as being degrading, unlivable, and absurd. The participants discuss the possibilities for organizing opposition to increasingly restrictive and repressive refugee and immigration policies. They examine the viability of anti-deportation campaigns, direct action casework, and the prospects for a broad-based movement in defence of refugee and migrant rights.

Resume

Le 8 decembre 2002 a eu lieu une table ronde reunissant des membres du Comite d'action des sans-statut Algeriens (Montreal), la Coalition ontarienne contre la pauvrete (Toronto) et No One is Illegal (<< Personne n'est illegal >>) (Montreal). Ce qui suit est une transcription des discussions qui ont eu lieu, au cours desquelles les Algeriens sans statut partagent leur experience de la vie au Canada sans un statut reconnu, une situation qu'ils qualifient de degradante, invivable et absurde. Les participants examinent les possibilites d'organiser une opposition aux politiques en matiere d'immigration et du traitement des refugies qui deviennent de plus en plus repressives et restrictives. Ils explorent la viabilite des campagnes anti-deportation, l'action directe et les possibilites d'organiser un mouvement rassembleur pour la defense des droits des refugies et des migrants.

On 20 October 2002, an Algerian family facing imminent deportation from Canada--Mourad Bourouisa, Yakout Seddiki (who was fifteen weeks into a high-risk pregnancy), and their two-year-old Canadian-born son, Ahmed--made international headlines by taking sanctuary in a downtown Montreal church. Like thousands of other Algerians, the family had fled violence and conflict to seek refuge in Canada. But while their individual claims for refugee status were rejected, they had remained in Canada. They stayed because the situation in Algeria was so dangerous that Immigration Canada prohibited all removals there--that is, until April 2002, when the moratorium on deportations was lifted. This move came on the same day that the Canadian government issued an advisory warning its citizens not to travel to Algeria. With an end to the moratorium, approximately 1,069 Algerians whose refugee claims had been denied were to be returned to a country deemed too dangerous for Canadians. The timing of the lifting of the moratorium also coincided with the Canadian Prime Minister's trade mission to Algeria that drummed up millions of dollars in trade between the two countries. (1)

The case of the Bourouisa/Seddiki family became a rallying point for campaigns opposing deportations to Algeria. The Action Committee for Non-Status Algerians (a self-organized group of Algerian refugees in Montreal) stepped up their campaign to raise public awareness about their situation and to organize a political and legal response. Eleven days into the Bourouisa/Seddiki family's flight into sanctuary, the Canadian and Quebec governments responded to this so-called "extraordinary situation" by granting a ninety-day stay on deportations and an opportunity for all non-status Algerians to make in-land applications for permanent residence. This concession fell far short of a general amnesty as it excluded those who: lived outside of Quebec; had a criminal record, however minor; had already received deportation orders or had been deported; and could not afford to pay the expensive application fees. Undeterred, the non-status Algerians, together with allies, have continued to fight for their right to stay in Canada. Their demands to the Canadian and Quebec governments are threefold: (1) an immediate end to all deportations; (2) a return to the moratorium on removals to Algeria; (3) the regularization of non-status residents in Canada. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"No One Is Illegal": The Fight for Refugee and Migrant Rights in Canada. (Roundtable Report)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.