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      People of the U.S. & Canada Fightback Against Criminal Immigration Policies!

      By Alison Bodine

      A distraught but determined 6-year-old Salvadoran girl repeatedly pleads for someone to call her aunt. Just one call, she begs anyone who will listen. She says she’s memorized the phone number, and at one point, rattles it off to a consular representative. ‘My mommy says that I’ll go with my aunt,’ she whimpers, ‘and that she’ll come to pick me up there as quickly as possible.’”- Recording from inside a child detention centre in McAllen, Texas released to ProPiblica.org.

      This recording is one of the many devastating examples of the criminal treatment of children at the hands of the U.S. government that brought hundreds of thousands of people to the streets on Saturday, June 30. On this day, actions were held in over 780 cities in the United States, Canada and around the world demanding an end to the Trump administration’s inhuman immigration policies of separating and detaining families.

      March On - Vancouver organized a rally at the U.S. Consulate in Downtown Vancouver. The powerful action brought together people from all walks of life, including many families and children with brightly coloured signs. Importantly, the rally program also included a focus on the government of Canada’s immigration policies that also detain children, and tear families apart, including words from refugees trying to build a life here in Vancouver. Speakers also addressed the government of Canada’s criminal treatment of Indigenous children and families, including forced separations.

      Following the speakers, there was a short and energetic march to the Trump Tower. There, more speakers shared their condemnation of the government’s the U.S. and Canada’s inhuman treatment of migrants and refugees, and people were encouraged to sign an online petition sponsored by the New Democratic Party (NDP) MP Jenny Kwan demanding that Canada cancel the Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S. This treaty forces migrants to make their claim for asylum in the U.S., if they arrive there prior to coming to Canada.

      Leading up to and since June 30, there have also been continued protests in many U.S. cities in front of the offices of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency responsible for tearing families apart through deportation.

      As peace-loving people in Canada and around the world, we have the responsibility to demand that the government of Canada and the U.S open the borders immediately to all migrants and refugees fleeing wars, occupations and economic devastation. It is the governments of the U.S. and Canada themselves that have imposed on the world such a terrible inequality and imbalance that 68.5 million people were forcibly displaced in 2017. Let us join together in solidarity with people in the U.S. out on the streets fighting for an end to the criminal immigration policies of the U.S. government!

      Follow Alison on Twitter: @Alisoncolette

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