Human rights advocates are applauding the City of Vancouver for moving forward with an “access without fear” policy.
The proposed policy will essentially encourage city staff not to ask for a person’s immigration status or report them to the Canada Border Services Agency.
A report to council next week says many temporary foreign workers whose work permits have expired, refugees whose claims have been denied and students who overstay their study or work visas, won’t access city services out of fear.
Byron Cruz with the community advocacy group “Sanctuary Health” says other cities and agencies should follow suit.
“At this time we recognize that there are different institutions that have been providing information to the Canada Border Services Agency, putting people’s lives at-risk, and causing alot of emotional anguish for people.”
Rocco Trigueros with the group “Mexicans in Vancouver” says it’s a good step forward.
“I’m in favour of this policy because it’s a step ahead in making one of the most multicultural cities in the world which is Vancouver a safer place for undocumented immigrants.”
The issue came to light after Mexican national Lucia Jiménez took her own life in a CBSA holding cell at YVR three years ago after being turned over by the Transit Police when she failed to produce a fare.