No One is Illegal - Principles

The No One is Illegal campaign has two goals: to attain concrete victories for immigrants and refugees and to develop the communities' own capacity to attain justice and dignity for themselves and their families. We strive and struggle for a world in which no one is forced to migrate. We also strive and struggle for a world where people can move freely in order to live and flourish in justice and dignity.

We are in active confrontation with a colonial system built on the dispossession and genocide of indigenous peoples - such as through the 1876 Indian Act, the reserve system, and residential schools? and racist anti-immigrant measures- since the historic Chinese Exclusion Act and Japanese-Canadian internment to the current use of Security Certificates. Such legislations and structures serve to label entire communities as "illegal aliens" or "status Indians", an apartheid system of who has the right to dignity and livelihood and who does not.

Instead, we maintain that there are no illegal human beings, only inhumane and illegal laws.  As a movement for self-determination that challenges the ideology inherent to immigration controls, we are in full confrontation with Canadian border policies; denouncing and taking action to combat racial profiling, detention and deportation, the national security apparatus, law enforcement brutality, and exploitative working conditions of migrants.

As we struggle for the right for our communities to maintain their livelihoods, we prioritize building alliances and supporting indigenous sisters and brothers fighting displacement. We recognize that those colonial and capitalist forces that create war, poverty, and destruction throughout the global South are causing dispossession of indigenous peoples within the global North. Therefore our work must be carried out in solidarity with the struggles for the self-determination and justice of indigenous communities.
There is a clear link between capitalist globalization worldwide and the displacement of peoples due to militarization, poverty, globalization, violence, and exploitation. Canadian immigration policies serve to consolidate the development of Fortress North America, using free trade to open borders to capital, while exploiting the people- mostly women- whose free movement it regulates through displacement, deportation, and the creation of hyper-exploitable labour on which the economy of the North is built upon.

Our work also furthers an analysis that links the "War on Terror" abroad to the racist "Fortress North America" at home. In the post 911 climate, various laws and policies have lead to the stereotyping and criminalization of entire communities, in particular Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities. Legislation such as the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Anti-Terrorism Act has strengthened the association between terrorism and immigration. We reject those apologists who claim that racist policies such as Security Certificates, Anti-Terrorism Legislation, Smart Border Policies, and Safe Third Country Agreement make North America safer.? ?We also place ourselves within the broader movement for global justice struggling against capitalism, homophobia, imperialism, occupation, militarism, patriarchy, poverty, war, and other systems of oppression and exploitation because we recognize that these are interconnected systems of oppression and domination that reflect and reinforce each other. We educate against injustice from all these perspectives and act to eradicate all these systems of exploitation and oppression.

Finally, we organize from the basic principle that directly affected communities and individuals lead their own struggles for justice and self-determination. Those of us who participate in these struggles as allies do so from a position of solidarity not charity. We see strength in our unity and real justice will come as communities in struggle build greater trust in visions of an alternate world and organize, educate, act and fight for their own self-determination.

by the Vancouver No One is Illegal-Vancouver