Joint statement from Ontario NDP Immigration Critic Teresa Armstrong and Community Safety and Corrections Critic Jennifer French regarding federal immigration detainees

 Ontario NDP Immigration Critic Teresa Armstrong, and Community Safety and Corrections Critic Jennifer French issued the following joint statement.

New Democrats support calls on Premier Wynne and her government to request that federal Minister of Public  Safety Ralph Goodale meet personally with the federal immigration detainees currently on hunger strike in provincial jails.    

The Ontario government should not be in the business of immigration detention. Our provincial correctional facilities are already overcrowded and stretched thin. The Province should not be warehousing individuals who the federal government cannot identify or process through the federal immigration system.

We demand that Minister Orazietti act now to do the right thing and ensure that his federal counterpart meet with the detainees in order to avoid a tragedy. 

New Democrats stand with health professionals, civil organizations, and the United Nations who are calling on the federal government to limit immigration detention, to the extent that federal immigration detention continues, to 90 days in keeping with the international standard. 

Going on hunger strike speaks to how desperate these detainees feel. The responsibility for their health falls to the Wynne government. There’s no time to wait. Minister Orazietti and Premier Wynne need to act now, before there’s another death in detention.”