Immigration minister accepts honour amidst protests

Nov 5, 2012 | News

By Julie Fish
With files from Daniel Buzzelli

Canada’s immigration and refugee policies have come under attack again by international activist group ‘No One is Illegal.’

The Toronto branch of the group held a protest march through the financial district Sunday, at the same time Immigration Minister Jason Kenney received an honourary degree from Israel’s Haifa University at a fundraising event held at Fairmont Royal York Hotel.

The event’s invitation read “Jason has continued to demonstrate a leadership role in combating all forms of anti-Semitism and in standing up for Israel on the world stage.”

Immigration lawyer Max Chaudhary says he believes the general public is behind Kenney and his policies, as long as he continues to present them as being in Canada’s best interest.

“His party has supported the state of Israel in most international issues and consequently the tendency to support one foreign group is basically causing that perception there’s certain favourites being played in forms of government policy,” Chaudhary told Humber News.

As Kenney and his supporters enjoyed cocktail hour, dozens of protesters marched while holding signs with photos of people deported from Canada and chanting, “No borders. No nations. Stop the deportations.”

“What we’re calling for, a basic demand for, human rights policies based on dignity and respect and so because of that we call for an end to racist immigration policies,” No One is Illegal representative Luam Kidane said in an interview with Sun News in May.

Kidane continued to explain how No One is Illegal is a migrant justice organization but that they also believe Canada is an illegitimate entity and an occupying state.

“Let’s be clear: No One is Illegal is not simply another noisy activist group. They are hardline, anti-Canadian extremists,” Kenney’s official website said in a news report in March.

The report continued to say No One is Illegal endorses terrorism against Israel.

“I oppose the new bill that’s been pushed through giving the minister for immigration exclusive powers to determine which countries are on the safe list,” protestor Arvind Verdi told Humber News. “He is one man and he can’t be trusted to decide anything.”

[SlideDeck2 id=11438 iframe=1]