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Solidarity City Declaration

May 2, 2013

For thousands of undocumented immigrants across the country, cities such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are sweatshops. Immigrants and refugees work the most precarious and dangerous jobs. The Canadian economy cannot survive without this super-exploited workforce, made particularly vulnerable by their lack of permanent status and the threat of deportation.

In order for their labour to provide this windfall for Canadian capital, non-status migrants are forcibly kept in a state of heightened vulnerability, deprived of access to essential services and basic social and economic rights. This apartheid system is maintained both through laws and regulations and through fear of discovery and deportation.

Everybody should have access to healthcare, education, social housing, food banks, unemployment benefits and any other social welfare regardless of immigration status. Labour norms and human rights should apply equally to all.

At a time when money and corporations can cross borders more easily than ever, these very borders are taking on an ever more deadly character for billions of people around the world. Solidarity City is the name given to the vision that resists this reality, that aims to transform our communities from sites of racist exploitation to places of mutual aid and support.

In order to bring this vision closer to reality, we are asking community organizations and centres, collectives, trade unions, healthcare providers, educational institutions, food banks, shelters, housing co-ops, and everyone else to commit to providing services equally to all, regardless of immigration status. As one important symbolic step, we ask you to endorse this Solidarity City declaration.

By endorsing this declaration, you are agreeing to publicly support the Status for All campaign, meaning opposition to deportations and detentions as well as supporting regularization for all non-status migrants.

Moreover, if your organization provides services, you agree to:

  • never ask for information regarding immigration status;

  • treat all information regarding other people’s immigration status as strictly confidential, and never share it with government agencies;

  • not charge fees based on immigration status;

  • implement a policy of non-cooperation with the Canadian Border Services Agency, including barring them from your premises;

  • work to make sure that labour and other human rights standards are applied equally to all, without regard to immigration status, in our organizations, workplaces, and communities.

Faced with fear, isolation, precarity and division, we strike back with solidarity, mutual aid, and direct action.

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