City of Vancouver passes ‘access without fear’ policy
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

City of Vancouver councillors unanimously approved a policy to provide people with uncertain immigration status access to services without fear that employees will share their information with public agencies that could deport them.

The policy will allow vulnerable residents, whether they’re foreign students or workers with expired permits, refugees whose claims were rejected or temporary foreign workers who lost their jobs, to interact with civil servants without being afraid they’ll get reported to the Canada Border Services Agency, unless required by law.

“This policy at its root is about safety,” B.C. Civil Liberties Association director Josh Paterson told council in support of the policy.

“It’s about a woman being able to come forward and seek help in a situation of domestic abuse, it’s about a family not being afraid to call a building inspector because of the conditions of their apartment, it’s about making sure children that live in this city have the right to access programs and services on an equal basis.”

The approval comes more than two years after Lucia Vega Jiminez, a Mexican woman living in Vancouver who had her refugee claim rejected, died by suicide while in CBSA custody. She was detained after Transit Police handed her over to the CBSA after discovering her identity during a routine fare check. 

 

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Source: Metro News