Immigration officers are conducting ID checks on Toronto streets and people are furious
A woman told City News that immigration officers stopped her father and asked to see his ID to prove that he was a Canadian citizen when he was buying cigarettes from a convenience store near Lawrence and Weston on Monday.
When her father showed his ID, she says the officers accused him of lying because he didn't "look Portuguese," seemingly referring to his dark skin. Once he provided his wife's name, they are said to have let him go.
These stops aren’t random. They’re arbitrary. They’re all too consistent with racial profiling.— Anthony N. Morgan (@AnthonyNMorgan) July 13, 2019
As we learned from the fight against carding, confusing “random” for “arbitrary” delays abolishing the practice. https://t.co/ZC6MyQq5Ii
According to the man's daughter, the officers were approaching people of colour. She thought it was a scam, but Canadian Border Services Agency confirmed that their officers were in the area at that time.
Unless an individual is crossing a port of entry into the country, CBSA officers are required to have a warrant in order to ask a random person for ID, according to Chantal Desloges, a Toronto lawyer who specialized in immigration and refugee law.
"Random checks are illegal," she wrote on Twitter.
Other than at a port of entry or in the course of processing an immigration/visa application you've initiated, CBSA officers need a WARRANT to question you, ask for your ID or enter your premises. Random checks are illegal. Don't give in to bullying. https://t.co/rlZSnUcV2R— Chantal Desloges (@Twimmigration) July 13, 2019
The CBSA has no oversight body, which means that objecting to their practices is essentially ineffective. They are the only public safety agency without an outside oversight body in Canada.
The Liberals did introduce a bill that would create an external review organization for border agents, but the bill was not passed in the Senate last month, despite the fact that it had all of the party's support.
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