Thursday, 18 August 2016

URGENT: Support a Family of 4 (soon 5) to stay in Canada

Please click here to donate to help raise the $9000 required to help a Honduran family of four, soon to be five, apply to stay in Canada after fleeing their homes out of fear for their lives and the safety of their children.

With no other option but to flee, the family, which includes a pregnant mother and two young children, now faces the high cost of staying in Canada legally so they can access basic services, such as education and health care. In order to stay, each member of their family must apply for a Pre-removal Risk Assessment and the right to stay under Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds (H&C)  which will cost more than $9000.

The current situation in Honduras is unsafe for many. The country has the world’s highest homicide rate, and environmental activists, human rights defenders, women’s rights activists, members of the LGBTQ community, the Garifuna, Indigenous people, union leaders, farmers and journalists are being systematically threatened or killed. The Canadian government has been a consistent ally to the current government in Honduras since it took power in a 2009 military coup, downplaying the government’s role in the human rights crisis and passing a Free Trade Agreement in 2014.

According to Human Rights Watch :

“Children experience high levels of violence, largely perpetrated by armed gangs. Many are recruited into these gangs or are frequently under pressure to join them, according to press reports. Fear of violence drives hundreds of other children every year to leave their homes and head north, often unaccompanied, to Mexico and the United States. Some migrants who had been deported back to Honduras told Human Rights Watch they were living in hiding and were afraid to go out in public.”

Due to a life of fear and hiding resulting from precarious immigration status, the family wishes to remain anonymous. Please help this family raise some of the money they need to provide a secure life for their young children and enjoy the basic human rights that everyone deserves.

Any amount helps - thank you very much for your support.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Fraser Health - Access without Fear!

In a 22 month period between January 1, 2014 to October 7, 2015, Fraser Health staff made 558 referrals to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). As revealed in Freedom of Information requests, Fraser Health policy dictates that physicians, nurses and social workers should work with the financial department to arrange for deportations. A health care worker's priority should be the patient's health. Hospitals are not border checkpoints! Health care is a basic human right. Everyone should have dignified access to health care. Patients should be able to receive the care that they need without emotional stress and fear of deportation, debt and death. Patient confidentiality and "do no harm" are fundamental principles that should guide all aspects of our health care system. These principles are violated when Fraser Health shares patient information with the CBSA. Patients should not have to deal with daily questions from their social worker about their immigration status. They should not be waking up from a coma to see CBSA officers at the foot of their bed. Patients should not have to choose to give birth in their bedrooms for fear of accessing the health care system. These are the results of Fraser Health's negligent policies. Fear of accessing services can and has resulted in individuals suffering from preventable disease, injury, and death. In other cases, catchment areas like Vancouver Coastal Health, who do not share information with CBSA, bear the burden of providing care for vulnerable and diverse populations that cannot find comparable services within Fraser Health. Fraser Health also appears to have made arrangements for air ambulances and airline medical escorts to assist with deportations, a process that costs thousands of dollars. On International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, please join us for a vigil, in front of Fraser Health Authority Offices, in honour of patients who have been detained or deported due to Fraser Health's collaboration with CBSA. The vigil will be on March 21st at 5 pm. Details about the event can be found here: You can also write tell Fraser Health's] Board of Directors and important Senior Leaders at Fraser Health that these policies are unacceptable, are putting lives at risk, and need to be changed here:

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Sanctuary Health Community Forum - Access to Health Care Without Fear Tuesday February 23 from 7-9 pm

Sanctuary Health Community Forum - Access to Health Care Without Fear Tuesday February 23 from 7-9 pm

Sanctuary Health Community Forum-Access to Health Care Without Fear
Tuesday February 23rd 7-9 pm
Broadway Youth Resource Centre, 2455 Fraser St, Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories

Invite to friends and community members!

Hospitals should not be border check-points! Join us for a Community Forum on the topic Access to Services without Fear.

In light of information we have received that indicates that Fraser Health has been releasing patient information to CBSA - we would like to bring our friends and allies together to strategize on how to pressure health authorities to end their collaboration with CBSA and ensure access to health care without fear.

At the meeting we will:
1) Go through the information released through our Freedom of infomration request to FHA
2) Ask you to share your experiences accessing health care for individuals with precarious status. What are your concerns? Have you had interactions with CBSA in this context?
2) Discuss a strategy for promoting awareness of this issue and putting pressure on the Health Authorities to change their practices to ensure access to health care without fear.

More information on Fraser health's collaboration with CBSA see this article:

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

New West Coast LEAF position paper

West Coast LEAF released a thorough position paper on the need for a Sanctuary City policy in Vancouver and how to successfully implement it. You can read it here:

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Transportation not Deportation Campaign Update

Sanctuary Health is a signatory to Transportation not Deportation, a recently-launched community campaign calling for an immediate end to Translink and Transit police collaboration with Canada Border Services Agency.

If you are interested in giving your input on the campaign, we are hosting a community meeting on January 28th from 6:00 PM to 8 PM at the YWCA on 733 Beatty Street. At the meeting, we hope to share experiences and develop ideas, strategies and solutions on how we can collectively reach our goals. For more information about the event, you can see the Facebook event here:

Currently, as part of this campaign we have two requests:

1) That your organization endorse our five demands.

2) That you individually please sign this petition and circulate it to your networks. We are aiming to reach thousands of signatures to present directly to officials:

Transportation not Deportation is a community campaign calling for an immediate end to Translink and Transit Police collaboration with Canada Border Services Agency. This campaign was launched this past year when it was revealed that Mexican migrant Lucia Vega Jiménez, who committed suicide in a detention centre, was handed over to CBSA by Transit police. Turns out, Transit Police reported 328 people to Canada Border Services Agency in 2013, one in five of whom faced a subsequent immigration investigation including deportation.
You can read more here on Transit Police and CBSA collaboration:

Over the past few months, we have been busy researching the collaboration between CBSA and Transit Police, have hosted community meetings and actions, and been in direct communication with TransLink to pressure them to stop collaborating with CBSA. We are hopeful that with community pressure we can win some tangible victories, as even police agencies in the U.S. are refusing to enforce federal immigration laws.

We hope you will join us in pushing this critical issue forward.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Sanctuary Health in the Vancouver Sun

Representatives of Sanctuary Health have been in the Vancouver Sun twice in recent weeks:

Injured migrants fear being reported to CBSA by hospitals (December 17, 2014) 

A report on how people without legal status in Canada are increasingly afraid to go to hospitals for fear of being reported to the Canada Border Services Agency.

Border Services ramping up arrests, advocates say (December 11, 2014) 

Comments from community groups including Sanctuary Health on the rise of arrests from Border Services.