Where: 1100 Cremazie (10-15 mins walk from Jarry metro).
Date: Wednesday, March 29th
Bring banners and signs to condemn the closing of Roxham Road!!
We denounce the closure of Roxham Road. The decision was announced on Saturday March 25th, following a secret agreement between the Trudeau government and the US president made a year previously, leaving just 8 hours before the closing came into effect.
Individuals and families leave their homes to escape military conflict, political oppression, and environment destruction due to resource extraction and climate change. In fact, the Canadian state and Canadian companies are often directly involved in the destruction of the environments and livelihoods in the countries of origin of asylum seekers.
Every person should have the freedom to migrate, to stay, and to return to their country of origin if they so choose.
Closing one of the safest points of entry will leave no other option to refugees and migrants but to cross in more dangerous places, and the new policy will force them to hide from Canadian authorities for 14 days before they can file a refugee claim without being deported to the United States, or in some cases to other countries. This constitutes a direct violation of Canada’s duty to grant asylum to those who are persecuted in their home countries, recognized in the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
This agreement will only threaten the safety and life of the individuals and families coming to Canada, and expose them to increased state violence from police and border control agencies.
About the Safe Third Country Agreement
The closure of Roxham Road is part of an extension of the Safe Third Country Agreement, even though the agreement itself is under review by the Supreme Court.
The Safe Third Country Agreement is an agreement between Canada and the United States that has been in place since 2004 in which the United States and Canada designate each other as being safe for refugees and therefore close their border to most refugee claimants going from one to the other.
Under this agreement, migrants and refugees who make asylum claims at official border crossings in Canada are automatically deported to the US .
This agreement is the reason why many refugees cross the U.S.-Canada border through so-called “irregular” ports of entry, including Roxham Road. The closing of Roxham Road eliminates this option, forcing people to take even more dangerous and undignified routes to cross the border.
An immediate threat to migrants’ safety
The closure of the Roxham Road also took place with about 8 hours notice, in the most disruptive and violent way possible. Many people are still arriving at Roxham Road ready to cross, but are now being sent back as a result of the recent change. The city of Plattsburgh, located next to the border on the U.S. side, is wholly unprepared to deal with the influx of people returning from Roxham looking for affordable and safe shelter. Currently, there are no more beds available in the city. The precarious conditions that people are already navigating have greatly intensified since this sudden closure!!
Even though the Trudeau government reached a decision a year ago with the Biden Administration, they only announced this decision within a day of closing the crossing. Trudeau’s government has yet to release the new rules, creating a very dangerous context for people crossing at Roxham.
Everyone should be able to come in and everyone here should have full permanent status.
For updated information about the rules: http://www.bridgesnotborders.ca/
We demand that the border be opened completely.
NO ONE IS ILLEGAL!!!
STATUS FOR ALL!!!