Friday 17 December 2021

Media Advisory: Non-Status Mother Targeted Outside Elementary School By Immigration Enforcement

Non-Status Mother Targeted Outside Elementary School By Immigration Enforcement 

Students, Teachers and School Board Trustees speak out demanding Sanctuary Zones around Schools 

New Westminster, BC: Teachers, students, and school board trustees are joining migrants outside Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary School after Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) stalked and handcuffed a migrant mother shortly after she dropped off her Canadian daughter at the school. CBSA had previously contacted the school but under New Westminster School District’s Sanctuary Schools policy, information about students is not shared with immigration authorities unless required by law; it appears CBSA chose to surveil the school instead. Migrants across British Columbia are now afraid to go to school. On December 18th, International Migrants Day, students, teachers and community members will be calling on all schools in BC to declare themselves Sanctuary Schools, where all students regardless of immigration status can study without fear, and demanding that immigration enforcement respect these designations and do not enter, wait outside, or call requesting information about migrants from schools. 

WHAT: Students, teachers and school board trustees call for schools to be declared Sanctuary Zones to protect families. 
WHEN: Saturday December 18 10 AM, International Migrants Day
Lord Tweedsmuir Elementary School, 1714 8th Ave, New Westminster, BC V3M 2S7, unceded territory of the Halkomelem speaking peoples including the qiqéyt, qʼʷa:n̓ƛʼən̓ and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm people. 

Omar Chu, Sanctuary Health
Maya Russell and Mark Gifford, School Trustees, SD40
Sarah Wethered, President, New Westminster Teachers' Union
Kathleen Carlsen, SD40 DPAC Chair
Reverend Emilie Smith, Saint Barnabas Anglican Church
New Westminster Anne Whitmore, BCEdAccess

About Sanctuary Health 

Sanctuary Health is a grassroots community group. We deploy direct action, movement-building, community-engagement, and direct support strategies to advocate for access to services for all regardless of immigration status or documentation. We are committed to building cross-sectoral alliances of mutual support to advance the migrant-justice movement on unceded Coast Salish territories.