NO DOUBLE PUNISHMENT

March 9, 2011

“Double punishment” is the term used to describe the unjust policy used against non-citizens who face deportation after being punished for a criminal conviction. In other words, non-citizens who commit criminal offenses are punished twice: once when they’re sentenced for their crime, and then again by being permanently removed from Canada, often after living here since childhood.

Double punishment is often the direct result of racial profiling:  A recent leaked study of Montreal police reports proves that racial profiling is endemic in Montreal. Neighbourhoods such as Montreal-Nord, St- Michel, Parc-Extension, and Côte-des-Neiges are over-policed and criminalized due to the density of immigrant and racialized communities living there.  The targeting of these communities not only forces a disproportionate number of poor and people of colour into the criminal justice system, but also into immigration proceedings if they do not have full Canadian citizenship.

We reject the link between criminality and immigration. This link is racist and false. It’s the way for jingoistic politicians to win cheap votes.

The reality of double punishment in our communities often provokes feelings of shame and isolation, due to the stigma of a criminal conviction. We aim to break this isolation by taking a clear stance against double punishment, and building together to expose this injustice, and to support the individuals fighting to remain with their families, friends and community here in Montreal.

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