Release: Historic Vancouver City Council vote calls on BC to end immigration detention

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Vancouver, BC – Unceded Coast Salish territories–Yesterday, a coalition of concerned organizations, groups, and citizens welcomed a historic Vancouver City Council vote calling on the Province of British Columbia to end its immigration detention agreement with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

By passing this motion, Vancouver becomes the first municipality in Canada to send a clear message to a provincial government to end its agreement with CBSA, which allows for the incarceration of migrants and refugee claimants in provincial jails. The coalition hopes that BC’s government considers this motion as part of its review of the provincial agreement with CBSA and cancels the contract.

The campaign to end immigration detention in BC jails has been supported by individuals personally impacted as well as by concerned groups and organizations who made submissions to the province’s review of its agreement with CSBA. These include:

Centre for Gender & Sexual Health Equity
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
BC Civil Liberties Association
Rainbow Refugee
BC Poverty Reduction Coalition
SWAN Vancouver Society
Community Legal Assistance Society
Immigration and Refugee Legal Clinic
Migrant Workers Centre BC
Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture (VAST)
Migrante BC
West Coast LEAF
Justice for Girls
BC Prisoners’ Legal Services
Pivot Legal Society
BC General Employees Union


Media Contacts:

  • Mara Selanders, Staff Counsel (Policy), BC Civil Liberties Association,
  • Aleks Selim Dughman Manzur, Co-Executive Director: Programming & Advocacy, Rainbow Refugee,
  • Rowan Burdge, Provincial Director, BC Poverty Reduction Coalition,
  • Samer Muscati, Associate Director, Disability Rights Division, Human Rights Watch,
  • Julia Sande, Human Rights Law & Policy Campaigner, Amnesty International,
  • Frank Cohn, Executive Director, Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture,