War on Terror a War on Immigrants?

With America’s unrelenting ‘War on Terror’ scourging the sands of the world to tap the flow of oil profits westward, the flows of population migration have been stifled; an almost reciprocal effect of a neo-colonial pan-American agenda. The increased instability precipitated by George W. Bush’s ‘democracy project’ in the Middle East has displaced and disenfranchised millions of Arabs and Muslims, who’ve sought refuge in Europe and North America. Not coincidentally, these same countries have tightened border restrictions under the pretext of national security measures.

In Canada, exclusive immigration policies have become more impregnable within federal legislation. Alleged terrorist plots at home, and Canada’s peripheral role in supporting allied forces in their occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Palestine have created conditions for he accelerated deterioration of rights and protections for migrants in Canada – especially those hailing from these same adversarial countries.

Next, after diplomatic relations between countries, as a criterion for
differential treatment, is a nation’s affluence. First world nations cherry-pick migrants based on class, as well as race, which is why African refugees, for example, from third world countries (like Sierra Leone or Somalia) get second-class treatment through Canada’s immigration system.

Since the events of September 11th 2001, broad declarations in the
corporate media and generalizations or oversimplifications in government bills have made more and more migrants the targets of racism and xenophobia; countless migrants in Canada have faced harassment and unjust treatment in the form of secret trials, arbitrary detention, abuse and harassment, torture, racial or religious profiling, security certificates, police surveillance, deportation, and the restriction of family visitation rights.

In light of these injustices, a Halifax-based coalition formed in August 2006 with the explicit mandate of “demanding the rights, dignity, and respect of immigrants and refugees, as well as those living without status in Canada”.

The group, which calls itself No One Is Illegal (Halifax), brings together immigrants, refugees, academics, activists, caseworkers, lawyers, and other interested community members. We are committed to establishing links and networks of solidarity in Nova Scotia, and the Atlantic Provinces, to defend migrants and migrant communities against these systemic attacks.