Groups Speak At Transit Police Board Meeting On Transit Police and CBSA Collaboration

Community, Legal, Human Rights Groups Speak At Transit Police Board Meeting On Transit Police and CBSA Collaboration

Press Conference on Friday Feb 27th at 8:30 am, Anvil Center in New Westminster

Thursday February 26th, 2015 – On Friday February 27th at 8:30 am in front of the Anvil Centre, the Transportation not Deportation campaign will host a press conference to address the recent announcement by Transit Police to the Transportation not Deportation campaign about ending their Memorandum of Understanding with Canada Border Services Agency.

The press conference will include representatives from Transportation not Deportation, Mexicans Living in Vancouver, BC Civil Liberties Association, Council of Canadians, Critical Criminology Working Group at Kwantlen University, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, and individual concerned transit users.

“While we are pleased that grassroots community mobilizing has resulted in an end to the memorandum between Transit Police and CBSA, we want to ensure that Transit Police will not collaborate in any form with CBSA,” says Omar Chu of Transportation not Deportation. “Migrant communities will continue to remain in fear of accessing public transit unless we are assured that personal information gathered by Transit Police is not being shared at all with CBSA.”

Following the press conference, at 9 am, dozens of deputations are expected at the Transit Police Board Meeting on the issue of their collaboration with CBSA. The Transportation not Deportation campaign will present the Translink Board with thousands of petition signatures. To date, more than 40 organizations and 1,500 people are calling for a complete end to the collaboration between Translink and Transit Police with CBSA.

According to Harsha Walia of Transportation not Deportation, “We are awaiting detailed written information on how the recent directives will be implemented and monitored. The termination of the Memorandum of Understanding will be most meaningful in ensuring that public transit does not become a border checkpoint if there is an actual end to all contact with CBSA.”

The Transportation not Deportation campaign continues to advocate for the removal of the CBSA Enforcement and Intelligence Division, CBSA Investigations Tip Line, and Immigration Warrant Response Center phone numbers as well as all immigration-related databases such as Immigration Detainees Management System from Translink and Transit Police databases.

Furthermore, Transit Police currently has no written policy on what is accepted as identification. The Transportation not Deportation campaign is encouraging Transit Police to accept a range of identification including passport, birth certificate or photo ID from any country; valid or expired immigration or visa documents; community center, public library, or food bank identification; bank card or tax forms; lease or any bill with place of residence; or a notarized letter.

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