Since the opening of a new prison for migrants in Laval Quebec in October of 2022, we’ve been consistently hearing from detainees about the terrible conditions. In-person visits have been suspended, while detainees are blocked from accessing their medication, have complained of being served rotten food, and many have continued to see their mental health spiral. All this in a brand new facility, that the federal government touted as a “more humane” form of detention. Now more than ever, it is clear that detention can never be “humane”, and only ending the practice of immigration detention in its entirety can put an end to these abuses.
While we work towards our ultimate goal of abolishing immigration detention, and obtaining status for all, we are doing what we can to support detainees on a day to day basis. Although visits have been suspended, we are still able to bring deliveries to the prison. Common requests include toothbrushes and toothpaste, shampoo and soap, socks and underwear, deodorant, cigarettes, international calling cards and clothing, especially winter clothing. These modest contributions can provide some small dignity and improve detainees’ living conditions, but more importantly, they send a message to detainees that they are not alone, that others are aware of what they are going through, and that people recognize the injustice of their mistreatment. On the outside, our deliveries keep us in touch with detainees and keep our political work grounded, as we fight alongside them for their liberation.
We are calling for donations to keep the deliveries going. Any amount that you can give can go a long way towards providing support to someone locked up inside the Laval migrant prison.
Most importantly, we need people to continually denounce Canada’s practice of imprisoning migrants. Rather than pouring millions of dollars into the construction of new prisons for migrants, like the one in Laval, the federal government needs to focus on the real solution: an ongoing and inclusive regularization program! The struggle continues until every last detainee has been liberated! Free them all, Status for All!