The Honduran Migrant Caravan, Canadian Immigration, and Displacement
5:41PM Aug 4, 2022
Hello and welcome to Righting Relations radio, an experimental podcast to uplift and support adult education and the movements for positive change across Turtle Island. Today we're talking to Hassan from the Migrant Workers Alliance for change, about the Honduran migrant caravan, Canadian immigration and displacement. As asylum seekers arrived to the US border in December 2018.
My name is Hassan. And I work for something called the Migrant Workers Alliance for change. We're a national migrant worker rights body. And as of this weekend, we've also formed a new national immigrant and refugee groups organization called the migrant Rights Network that will actually be launching on Tuesday, that will be helping to coordinate combating racism and to fight for Migrant Justice. So, I will speak briefly about the Honduras and the caravan, and specifically the ways in which Canada is complicit. And then kind of paint some broad ways in which the issue of the caravan and migration in general is being manifested here in Canada, and what I believe are some mechanisms both to support migrants and refugees in the caravan as well as people in your in the country. And we're trying to keep it fairly brief. So that we have lots of time for conversation and discussion afterwards, because it's such a small intimate gathering. So if we want to understand kind of what is happening in the in the Triangle region of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, we have to go back to the civil and criminal, nine sorry, civil conflicts that arose in the late 60s festival, Guatemala, and then in the general region, which, you know, really have to be centered around the creation of this company called Incore, Canadian mining company that was very much involved in the in having. Well, I mean, in 1934, there was a US backed military coup, right, which brought up governments in Guatemala. And then this Canadian mining company, nickel mining company info, sucks began negotiations with successful military governments creating many open pit mining in Guatemala, this creating kind of this like huge destabilization, this mining company received a lot of Canadian government support. And, of course, the rise of a revolutionary and rebel forces, thus creating kind of a destabilization in the region, as in Canada, creating the destabilization of the region. So really, if we look at the last left, like 40,50 years, it's not just the United States that's been intervening in Latin America, but specifically Canada to its mining interests, with enormous amounts of support by the Canadian government. If we fast forward in 2009, there was a democratically elected government of President Elia, who was deposed in a military backed coup that was greatly supported by the Canadian government. Part of the reason that the Canadian government did that is because as people like Tyler Shipley, and Todd Gordon have documented, this allied government had placed a moratorium on granting new mining rights to leading corporations. And primarily, I mean, I'm sure we all know, but 75% of the world's mining companies are headquartered in Canada. So Canada is really the global hub of this and, and the reason they're headquartered here is because of the very lacks mining, laws, and oversights and regulations. So they may honestly be Canadian owned, or Canadian, but they're paying taxes here and have set up an office here and are trading the Toronto Vancouver Stock Exchange's. So there's Elia government was, was trying to write a new mining code that would better protect labor and environment. And that was immediately followed by this massive coup. And the Canadian government not only supported in words, and but also in deeds, the government that came out the military back government. That bet which of course immediately wrote a new mining law which give great concessions to Canadian mining companies. And to not just that, but in 2011, Canada, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper went to Honduras to sign the Canada on the US Free Trade Agreement. Where he, you know, again, supported in words and indeed, what had been really an extremely slanted so called the election, which has been largely undemocratic and gravely, corrupt and controlled by the military government. And it's interesting, so it's not just me Mining companies and be part of during Stephen Harper's visit, almost organization that was working in sweatshops for Gildan activewear, which is, you know, a Canadian company, which creates a number of clothing items, actually did a huge campaign about the work of building sweatshops, it was running on the wrist. And Stephen Harper, instead of bending to that pressure, in fact, visited the Gildan facility
and showed how much it were, they were in support of it. So really, there's been you know, you know, I can go on and on this escrow now, there's the silver mining in the hills, there is a Canadian company that is known to have actually tried to mine in secret burial sites to try and get access to the gold, you know, nothing is sacred any in any way for these companies. And they've been supported by the federal government through you know, grants through through tax cuts through very lacks regulatory agreements, and right and largely allowed these human rights abuses to continue to for the greater profit. So all of this brings us to the current conditions of Honduras, and of course, the broader region, which, you know, people are seeing enormous amount of poverty, environmental catastrophe. And some people are being persecuted by paramilitary gangs or criminal gangs that have started, in part as a result of the Canadian and American intervention in the region. So at this point, you know, 1000s of people and scientists exactly how many people have marched upwards of 4000 kilometers from Honduras, people along the way in El Salvador and Guatemala, even in Mexico, join them, who are now at the border between US and Mexico in Tijuana. You know, at least six times, over 6000 people have arrived. And today's actually an extremely sad day, because a child is seven year old child who crossed into the US just this week, the girl, she died in US custody. So what happened was, she was one of the people who just walked across, and she'd been detained for eight hours. And she died from dehydration and shock. And she just arrived last week along with her father. And so this is the condition, you know, we've not received the name of the woman yet. These are the conditions that people are facing, as we know, the US government has been dealing families and children similar to Canada, but at a much larger scale. So there are two the borders, you know, be turned into a militarized zone. And primarily, it's been used by the right wing government in the United States, the proto fascist authoritarian government of President Trump to create further and greater xenophobia and racism, criminalizing the idea of migrants, I'm sorry, of migrants and refugees. And creating this huge amount of uproar as a way essentially mobilizing it towards the November midterm elections. In fact, US government mobilized 1000s of soldiers and put them onto the border in this massive force wonder migrants are actually still quite far away. And what is happening as a result is, you know, this is where the ripple effect of racism that is allowed, in part for the right wing, perhaps greater seats than it could have any of us. Now 1000s of people are our other border, there was, of course, an attempt a protest in November 21, to try and actually enter the United States to apply for refugee status. Under international law convention and agreements. Migrants and refugees are allowed to cross borders to sorry, refugees are allowed to cross borders to seek protection and safety. But currently, they're not being allowed into actually apply for refugee status. So it's not even illegal to do so. It's illegal to cross but it's only going to cross and then apply for refugee status. It's a little complicated, but that's kind of the structure is also similar to the structure we see on the US Canada border where people are crossing, you know, on foot from anywhere, but once they've crossed, they're allowed to apply for refugee status. So this is, you know, what we're, what we're kind of facing right now is 1000s of people living in camps with very little food or water. But also, you know, it's not just a question of victims. It's a question of intense amount of courage and resilience. 1000s people have walked over 4000 kilometers.
And in fact, they work together because it's a mode of transportation that's safer. But in the process of walking, I mean, people talk about this as a, you know, democracy in action. It's a question, you know, the there is self organized representatives that are responsible for media for decision making public works, or is just a women's led hunger strike, there was also coordinated. So it's not as if it's kind of dislike river or mob of just people randomly walking in one direction. In fact, their decisions along the way, they're debates about which roads to take etcetera, that have been made along the way by people. And they're creating an entire society in a structure. And along the way, there has been an intense amount of support for them throughout the region, and of course, there have been some, you know, phobic and racist protests also. So that's kind of the current condition. I mean, in terms of what is happening in Canada, there are, you know, a series of different kinds of people who are doing different kinds of actions in demands. So just to give you a brief snapshot, environmental mining justice activists have really been highlighting the role of Canadian mining in creating the conditions of violence and poverty that are disenfranchised people and forced them to move and asking for kind of stronger regulations and stronger protections and stronger. In fact, prosecution of companies were responsible for human rights abuses. Of course, you know, we must talk about Berta casseras, the, you know, indigenous leader who was shot and killed by gunmen in Esperanza on in on March 2. And she was killed, because she was denouncing aggression and she was organizing against hydroelectric project in her community. That is, which is the territory of the Lanka indigenous people. So her death has of course, marked a global call to action, particularly that the, you know, that the government is deploying, you know, extremely dangerous weapons and structures to shut down resistance. On the other hand, you know, we've seen a lot of support organizations have been, you know, vigils and protests, artmaking visits from Canadians, by journalists, media makers, community activists, and activists to go to Tijuana with materials. indigenous folks from Canada, indigenous groups and artists from Canada supporting the Honduran and Guatemalan and Salvadorian migrants who arrived in the US border. They've also been called for resettlement of the refugees and migrants from that are in this caravan into Canada. Of course, we don't know if that's what they want to know for sure. But it's definitely been a call. And connected to it. People have talked about how, if these people were actually able to walk across into due to the US and try to enter Canada, they will be turned back because of the Safe Third Country Agreement, which says that if you've asked for a quote unquote, safe country, first, you shouldn't be able to apply for status in Canada, and forcing people to take more risky routes to enter the country. And so therefore, the Safe Third Country Agreement should also be overturned. So there's a there's a broad wave of calls and demands that are coming from different sectors, for changes here. And I think I will invite people to kind of if people want to take action, indirect support on the caravan to find what's nearest to them, whether it's eminent groups, and we're going to refer you rights groups, undoing solidarity activists, artists, media makers, immigration, immigration activists, etc, to connect with them to move the move the struggle forward. The other thing is, we have to really understand this mass migration in the context of what's happening globally. So we know that there are, you know, over 65 million people who are refugees around the world, over 235 million migrants, there's millions of displaced people. We're seeing a global flow of people, whether we talk about the boats crossing in the Mediterranean, whether we talk about Syrians on first of line is unfit, you know, people, European Eritrea and Congo, the people are moving in masses or alone separately or together in search of
refuge. And rarely, even if they are often moving in the same direction, have them been making joint decisions as they are now. So this is a specifically critical movement of what's happening with migrant Exodus cut dignity, but it's not but it is part of this global flow. And the global flow is going to increase because we have environmental catastrophe with a wars, an intensification of inequality of wealth between the richest and the rest. And, and there's no real effort and combined effort to overturn it. In fact, this last weekend, as you may have heard, something called the Global Compact for migration was signed in, in Marrakesh, which in Canada has been framed as either a document that would get rid of Canadian sovereignty over its borders. That's what the conservatives have been pushing. And it's been framed by the Liberals as if it is this, you know, hugely progressive step forward, where Canada is kind of leading the way and we'll be teaching the world about how great its immigrant and refugee resettlement practices are. The Global Compact on migration is, in fact is a toothless document. That doesn't actually deal with a because it doesn't actually create any agreement that will force governments to do better. And it doesn't deal with the two fundamental questions that we need to ask on any question of language. One, what are the specific structures and ways in which we are stopping the forces of displacement? That is how we're ensuring that people are moving freely rather than being pushed back pushed out? And then second, how are we ensuring the rights and dignity of people once they have arrived in so called receiving countries? And that's really not been done. If people are interested, we can talk more about the specifics of how Canada is doing on these questions outside of the Honduran caravan process. But very briefly, as we know Canada has seen a long term shift away from permanence into temporariness. Generally speaking, very few people can come in as permanent residents, most people come here as temporary foreign workers, international students, refugee claimants or other streams of people without full status. And the lack of full status is coupled with working in industries that are outside of regulations and protections. For example, agriculture, which is exempt from minimum wage unionization, forced to live in employer provided housing that's outside of housing regulations, often forced to live in fear of detention desegregation. And can. Sorry, I can tell you
I don't hear your Echo. But it's maybe this connection. Is it still doing it?
No, it's good. It's fun. So, yeah, so Canada is one of the few countries in the world with an indefinite detention process. And what we've seen, particularly in the refugee and asylum process, is that there's a huge backlog. 1000s of people have crossed over from the United States into Canada, over the land border over the last two years since Trump's election, are waiting in limbo. So there's lots more to say and discuss about what to do in Canada. And I have some proposals of what you all could do, but I'm tired of this direct support from us. But I want to kind of stop there. Initially, see people have either questions or comments, something they want to add or disagree with or how confusion arose because you've dealt together deeper. Yeah, we're gonna maybe you can help facilitate this.
Yeah. I think your questions are good starters. Any comments or questions, confusions disagreements?
Well, Rehana, this is that Jaya. And I have a couple of questions. First is that this most of these refugees, who sign said is a sort of forced immigration and forced refugee. So it is not voluntarily somebody that is not like traveling as a tourist going to another country for leisure or exposures. But nowadays, what we are observing globally is more of a crisis. So, the roots are could be economic crisis, mining, militarization and many other things. But what I have the question is that this advanced development, like the having the very luxury life versus like all you money, there is a sort of human pocket other than others, so all of them and they are they day to day needs, versus versus all other things that are mentioned. So, how, how we can, how we can say like they have a counter argument is that we want advancement for human and this is why we need to fill out all these minds to give better life for humanity. And then people are resistant to leave their space. So we need that space. We need the land we do all this unrest to different areas to gave a better life for the rest of the world. So this is most of the time the argument. So I did a bit of confusing, but it's also needs to be discussed.
So if I understand your question correctly, you're saying, People believe that mining projects and they're like are about development, and they are about improvement people and not about displacement. Right? That's your comment.
Yeah, I know that the cause of these, like big company is to, to, to find resources. For them. Justification is that we want to give better a better life for the rest of the world and these people who are immigrating and suffering, so I'm a refugee, for my whole life since the age of 16. So I'm out of my country first and one country and then another country, and my children obviously isn't the same. So who knows more about these caravans and all the trouble refugee for live? And but what I'm saying so how we can how what what, what is the, the two questions like Why still we are not succeed, to find that structure, protect preventive measures to for immigration and refugees situation. And when, I mean, I don't like the pit when people are late getting refugee. So this is not something that I love, you know, it is the worst things a person could experience to go from one country and another country as a refugee, not as a tourist. So there's two different things. The resources versus refugee situation is a question for me.
So maybe I'll say a few things. I mean, I obviously, you know, as much about this, if not more than most of us, and maybe other folks can chime in. I think the first thing is that, when we talk about development, in the current world, it's really, people have said development looks like more roads, more air conditioners, bigger televisions, the, you know, bigger malls. And it's a very specific understanding of what development looks like. And the only real economic structure that we have today is where eight people have more money than 50% of the planet. And so what's happening is that resources and profits are actually being sucked up. And the logic is in, they say, Look, if we make money, it trickles down, right. So they say, Look, if we start these mines, we start these corporations, then the whole of society will be uplifted. But in fact, the opposite is happening. It's not a trickle down, but it's a trickle, not a trickle back, like a sucking up economy. And what that means is we have to reject at the very basis, the idea that to make people better off, foreigners have to go there and build corporations that will come you you're either extract goods or create jobs, etc. Because it's not that the industry is being transferred or whatever people are profit has been transferred over to the people, its resources being taken away. It's sweatshops being constructed, as we see in Honduras, but as we see around the world, and in fact that when governments tried to pass laws, like President delight in 2008 2009, to force corporations, foreigners to actually be a little more focused on development of the people, that there will be a military backed coup d'etat will be backed by countries like Canada to not allow those laws to proceed. So when people say, Look, this is just about the way we have to just make jobs, you know, it's this notion, so we have to reject it out of hand. The added thing and I think, again, you speak to you spoke to this very eloquently, is what is a refugee? So you know, you've talked about people are escaping persecution, but they're also wanting jobs and what has happened in the world with the United Nations. What Trump is saying is, you know, he says, they're not real refugees. They're just here, looking for a better economic life. It's just about jobs. So we have this dis separation of real and unreal, so called refugees, and this division has been, and you can even hear it in Canada. Well, we'll say okay, the refugees that were flown in by the government from other countries are real refugees, but people who are crossing the border from the United States and applying inside the country are not real refugees. And then migrant workers were coming here or choosing to come here and workers are not the same as refugees. So we're divided into inland refugees, overseas refugees, migrant workers, international students, undocumented people, asylum claimants, right. So all of these different categories that have been created by the government also have actual regulatory and policy rights attached to it. If you're one of these categories, then you can work for 20 hours, if you another, you can work Unlimited, but only for the employer on your permit, etc. This one, you can get social assistance that when you cannot, this one, you get housing that when you get EI, so there's actually really material differences between people's access to rights based on the category they're pushed him. But as we all know, people don't have singular lives. People are both leaving war and persecution, and they want good jobs, right, and they want to study and they will not work. So it's not that they're either students or refugees or workers, etc. So we have to really assert our common humanity, as migrants, refugees racialized, low wage working class people, that there is a shared experience, of course, the specificity, it matters if you're from Syria, or Somalia versus, you know, that matters, but there has to be, there's also shared commonality, and we can't just be separated on the basis of these categories. And I think as educators and as people who are talking in your community, as people who seem to be working in different industries, where you actually have to make that decision, I know somebody said, different units. And so you're funding says, Who can you serve? Who can you not serve? Right, your
I know, someone said they're from a university. So your funding determines which of those people can study in which of those can certainly, again, so that it trickles down into our entire society. And we have been structured to think in this way. And I think we have to fundamentally reshape the question, both of development and so called, essentially capitalism, as well as what it means to be here. And what are these categories? And what do they mean? Those are just my thoughts. I don't if somebody wants to jump in on that thread that was just started.
This is Laura from The University, and certainly the whole international student, particularly with post grad certificates. discourse that's happening. And you know, that this is part of business models. And then really, that's the exploitation of the students that is happening related to this is, you know, very, is hugely problematic for a lot of people who find themselves in universities, but at the same time, the university, so governed by neoliberal models at this point that, you know, it's, it's hugely problematic in terms of making sure resources are here versus completely trying to outright stop these processes from happening. And then, you know, that's another that's another form of barrier then in terms of getting people to the places that they're choosing to go. So it's like, is it a good thing? Is it is it a negative thing? It's it's so complex, and there's so many parts to it when you look at just that one particular demographic even.
I'm really curious about this immediacy of people in the Hawaiiana. Five 6000 People at the border and a military blockade? And what? Yeah, I just really feel like sending lots of like love and peace, because I'm aware of how much violence and suffering can happen. And I'm not Yeah, I'm curious. Do you know anything about that? strategies that are being thought of, for people on the ground there? I know there was a solidarity caravan that also arrived. And yeah. Can you share anything about that?
Absolutely. So I, I think there are a few key things people can do. So first is to pressure the Canadian government in particular to reel in the mining companies, you know, using what about the people who are at the border, but people are leaving these places every day because the Canadians we have to enforce the Canadian government do not support the right wing government in Guatemala and Honduras and Honduras and to stop its mining interests from continuing human rights abuses. They're distancing people every day. That's The first thing. The second is that there is to pressure the Canadian government. If you travel documents, a lot of these people are sharing a travel document in the Mexican embassies and consulates in Tijuana to actually try and lock into their doors, people can actually go somewhere else. Maybe they want to come to Canada, maybe someone else, but actually make available the option to apply for refugee status in Canada to the migrant step. So the international migrants Alliance had a meeting in Mexico. And the Canadian organizations actually issued that as a statement. So I would suggest, so that's something that people can take up. Also, that, you know, we need to focus on. There are many kind of like humanitarian responses, there's fundraising, people want to redirect money, there's a number of outlets that people can go and donate money to. And finally, to ask me, Canada to change its own refugee laws. So for example, starting with an end to the Safe Third Country Agreement, to remove the designated country of origin list, which Allah which limits people's ability to apply for refugee status, to end detentions and deportations. So in each of these, I mean, they might I mean, somebody I know, maybe it was Paula law, I'm not sure somebody said it was very complicated. I think it is complicated. But it's also very specific organizations, of refugees and migrants themselves who are self organizing, not service providers, not advocates, but self organizing, who are making very distinct calls. So I would really propose and support people in echoing those calls and actually taking direction from those organizations. And we're building a national network that will be launched in Tuesday that will bring together all of those organizations across Canada, so that we can amplify and coordinate our voices better. So those are the top calls that are coming. So Safe Third Country Agreement, change the designated country of origin list, push Canada to end its mining abuses and support for right wing governments in Latin America broadly. And to push on education, travel documents and processed refugees into one.
Tide. smilodon. Thank you, Hasan, and Rihanna for organizing this. It's really important. And I'm really happy. One of my question was, what can we do? But I think you laid out the actions in Could you send us in writing, but because it's really hard to follow up? You know, some of the things I tried to write down, but it's really good to have that action items and to do something about it. I'm speaking on that. I really want to highlight what you see. The irony is that the nose, it's not only us, even our government, Canadian government, when you look at it, it's us who are creating the problem. That's why that's there's a pushing factor, why people are leaving their homeland. It's not easy, it's not a choice. And at the same time, we are not there to create the solution. The irony is, you know, when you talk to people, they think, you know, people who are immigrant people who are migrants are creating a problem in this society, rather than seeing them as an asset. But, you know, when you look at this one, it's not a choice, what people are really making in at the same time. And when you look at it, sometimes it feels like there is indirect colonial colonialism. That's what I would say. Because way back, the Europeans went to Africa to different countries, and colonized and took resources. Now, it's a different way of the name of development, and then name of economic advancement. All these situations are created by the nose. That's how it feels, and but I'm really happy that when you say that it's about action. We have to make our government accountable to this issues, because we are not talking about that. You know, when we hear about Honduras, people are talking about us about Trump. It's not only Trump, there's a structure and we have to talk about the structure and at the same time, thank you about those two issues regarding global impact on migration. You shared us about the structure. The first one is how people are moving in, and the second one is inch During the rights and dignity of migrants, it's really important things, I really equal those kind of things. We have to talk about it. And we have to advocate, you know, originally I'm from Ethiopia, I know what it means to be to leave your home line, not by choice but by force. And thank you.
Absolutely. And I would, I would, you know, I totally agree with you. I mean, this is, you know, the colonialism was also marked as about being an economic advancement. It's about civilization of our people, racialized people, or people from this out, we were going to be made better by the invaders. Men, always. The invaders had some local people who supported them. And always there were some people in resistance and rebellion. And that has not changed, you know. So I think we, you know, there's nothing drum, because the economic system there, as is not always about capitalism, which is specifically about forcing people to work, extracting profit from their work. Making money, Nick, basically, people work in the money, they make a whole large percentage of that ends up being used by any by just a few people who suck it all up. And that's the system we're in. And I think we've got to, like, name it and claim it and fight it. And absolutely, I think we need to force the Canadian government to make changes. And I think we need to figure out where we work on live. What are the specific ways in which this thing that we're talking about is impacting us? So you know, I mentioned a few things about how many of us actually effectively work as border guards, which is to say, we deny people rights and services on the basis of their status, different forms of status, right, and we've all been sort of like included into the immigration system. So if you're a doctor, if you're a nurse, if you're a teacher, maybe, you know, maybe you're not making the decision that comes into the system, but at the door of the place is somebody who's saying, Oh, you don't have papers you can't come in. and Canada is really segregated in that way. And we never actually see people. And so there's the work of pushing the government. And I'm saying that has to be done under the leadership of self organized refugees and migrants. So it's not about one person seeing as a refugee or as a migrant, but people who coming together broad groups of people and collectively making decisions. And then secondly, we have to figure out what are the specific ways in which we are our organizations are further in disenfranchisement? And what can we do at that local level to change it. And then thirdly, and this is what I would say is, you know, as a network of educators and thinkers, we desperately need materials. That, you know, we will make mythbusting, etc. But we need materials that assert our common humanity as low wage, so not super rich, right? racialized migrants from all these different streams, and to sort of do away with the segregation and separation that all of the different laws and policies are making?
Is there anything else that you could add to what you've already said around Canada's role and how they're like responding to this crisis? And the difference between, I guess, sort of the perception of what Canada does and is and what the reality is, is there any other information you have on that?
thing, by and large, the Canadian government is not really spoken about the Indian crisis. And when it has, it has said nothing about its own role in their displacement. But as a, as a general rule, the government is sort of, you know, in the process, for example, a global compact on migration that was signed last weekend between 160 plus countries, or maybe 130 plus countries, I don't know the exact number. Ghana was sort of positioning itself as the global leader of immigration, pro immigrant and pro refugee. And this is a myth that people have really bought, I mean, when I'm immigrated to Canada, which was very recently, you know, in my home country, it was like, if you want to go somewhere that we treated well, easy to get into Canada's the place like if we're here, someone told us that that was the truth. And then we learned that that's not so so and Canadians believe it. So Canadians believe it, people around the world, believe it, etc. So, you know, there are different ways of how to respond. Some people say look, the correct response is to shed light and show that it's actually alive. Other people say that we shouldn't make Canada keep its word. If it positioned itself as a global leader then firstly to become the global leader except the myth and make it a reality. I think it's really just about who you're making the argument to. By sort of very factually speaking, Canada has a system. Two major things that it does, they're very, you know, very successful. So the first one is something called interdiction. So interdiction is the process by which you ensure that refugees, humanitarian populations, migrants who will try to get access to your country don't actually arrive at your borders, right. So what that means is that Canada pays countries overseas to block ships from getting here. Canada finds Airlines for every person who comes here on a fake document, which makes the airlines responsible for the documentation on sort of the sending country and refugees were coming here from Honduras, Canada went across Suriname, they are hungry, they put up signs in Hungarian and Roma telling people to not come here. When people started crossing over from the border from the United States, Canada did this huge community engagement process, going to speak to Somalis and Nigerians and Haitians inside the USA don't come you won't get status. To really what the government does really well, is that it just stops migrants and refugees from actually getting here to this huge PR military funding agreements, which means that keep people in Canada don't really get to see those people because there's talk well in advance. So the 40,000 people or so that have come crossing the US border is actually small business people who would actually want to come here to the country. And what that does is it makes us feel like things are better, because we don't see this way was because it's happening elsewhere. Okay. The second thing is current has an extremely managed migration process, which is the point system, the Express Entry System, which really ensures that it is people who are much younger, who can come here, younger, richer, fluent in English and, or French, and who will live here for many years before they can get their citizenship. So what that does to someone's mentality. So if you come in as an international student, you come in as a temporary foreign worker, but in a high weight stream. Or you come in as a PR, you have to work jobs, it takes you four years you apply for citizenship, or if you come as a student elect, like eight to nine years you do all of these things, you pay so much money, and eventually you quote unquote, on your ability to get citizenship here. So that does to your psyche over time, is that you start feeling grateful. And you start feeling that you earn your way. So you are special, you are better than other people. And you are more advanced in some way, because you've been selected, you know, there's there's lotteries, you get an invitation to apply every step along the way you're made to feel like you pass the test you are meritocratic, ly selected on the basis of who you are, rather than the fact that you're basically selected for who they could extract the maximum profit on. And so it's creating waves and waves of immigrants who are taught to be grateful to be protectionist, to be exclusionary, in in by themselves in their psyche. So those two mechanisms, the interdiction and this sort of like point system managed migration, get them in young, make them work a lot for it, etc. Makes it very difficult to actually deal with the truth of the matter, which is that this is a country that is globally responsible for the displacement of bodies. And here is exploiting and excluding people.
So we have to contend with those in our work all of us do. And I think the way to do it is through mass popular education that you're all engaged
in. If you're not refugee is a refugee, they have the struggles, they have to do survival, live and so on. They are not a luxury life. But when I say don't come stay to the country, this is not a force of the government to to don't follow these people who are here to that taking your resources. I mean, it is a big, big, big request. And people who are not listening to us, you know why you are there, come back, if you if things are wrong from that a voice. Even if I push my guy, I'm a Canadian government that don't do this. They said, Okay, go back to your country. You are a refugee. I mean, I'm a bit of confused how to. This is a big cause. This is a nice cause. I agree with you. This is the realities. But what is their strategic intervention to this is a bit of more complex.
What I'd say is First of all, we say we are here because you are there. Which is to say that you are here because they are there. Right. So it's not like, Oh, if you're a refugee, you don't like it go back where you came from, it's like, I've been made a refugee because of you. So it is my right to be here. Right? It's not the candidate to dislike charitable thing, and then let you in. So you have the right to stay here and to criticize. And you have the, you want to live in a world, like if you wanted to move back to Afghanistan, and live there, you know, so we talk about freedom to move, freedom to return and freedom to stay. So you didn't move freely, because you were forced. Now you're not being allowed to live freely, because you can live here but don't complain, right? This is what I was talking about the psychic effect of library. And you don't have the ability to return even if you wanted to, because things are not safe or not in a way that you want it. So it's definitely possible to change all of these things at the same time. Right? Alone, it is hard, you know, alone, it's like, if I speak, what will people say if I talk to you, if you talk to your family or your friends, they may not or your colleagues, they might not agree with you. But there are organizations of 1000s of refugees and migrants in Canada that you can join. And you can be part of this one big boys who will have your back and you can have theirs. So in the end, one person can change the world. But a few people certainly can. Anything that you each of you have the power, but we have to form organizations where to find people first to agree with us, not people to disagree with this direction. First, the people who agree with us so we can consolidate ourselves. And then we can speak to people who agree with us, more or less and less, and then we move slowly. But if we start with our poll trying to convince people who don't agree with this at all, fighting alone, that big wave of what is the dominant opinion, then we'll be trashed and torn apart. That's convince our like, consolidate, get closer, get tighter with our own people. And the segregation in the division and the individualism that's been taught to us is, just take care of yourself, because you have to turn you got to like pay your bills. So we're all separated into individual boxes, which stops us from coming together. And realizing that we have common analysis, common purpose, common goal, common strategy. And it exists and you can find it in your community quite easily. Not quite easy. You can find it, and then it will take effort to join it. And I would really encourage people to form political organizations in groupings. Because it's so hard. We just end up having these conversations on the side in meetings, but we have to not just come together, but to take action, whatever the action, big or small political action that tries to push the envelope every time and then link up with other people who share it and then push it further and link up with other people who share that we can increase our capacity, escalate our response, and collaborate at a national, international global level as displaced racialized people with the goal of creating a new world. That's the task we have. We have.
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