Undocumented migrants hid their identities in masks on Sunday as demonstrators in Cote-des-Neiges wore orange butterfly wings to symbolize a freedom migrants don’t have: the ability to travel anywhere they’d like in Montreal with impunity.
“On the one hand, [Montreal] calls itself a sanctuary city, and on the other hand, it cooperates with the repressive border police who are sending people back to the US as a supposed safe third country,” said activist Robert McBride at Sunday’s demonstation at Nelson Mandela Park
Migrants and supporters are calling on the city to sever the ties between Montreal police and the Canada Border Services Agency to ensure the undocumented are not deported when trying to seek help. They also want montreal to provide additional services on top of those that are part of its status as a sanctuary city, like providing access to health care and work permits.
Some of the migrants that shared their stories say they are growing disillusioned with the actual reality for undocumented migrants in Canada, versus the image of a welcoming country—and welcoming prime minister—they felt was sold to them.
“[Trudeau] assured that Canada had its doors open,” said Zain Alabdullah, speaking through a translator. She says she was moved by the images of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greeting Syrian refugees arriving in Canada at Toronto’s Pearson Airport last year.
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