Toronto Becomes A Sanctuary City for Undocumented Immigrants
We recently blogged about how the City of Toronto was going to vote on whether undocumented immigrants in Toronto should be able to easily access vital services without fear of being detained or deported. Our own immigration lawyer Michael Niren was quoted by Yahoo News Canada on the subject.
Well, Toronto city council voted on Thursday and decided that yes, Toronto is now a “sanctuary city”, making history as the first Canadian city that has a policy in place to let undocumented migrants or illegal immigrants use vital city services even if they do not have an immigration status.
Sanctuary Cities exist all over the U.S. for illegal immigrants
While Toronto is only the first city in Canada to have such a policy in place, it joins 36 American cities that already have the same policy, including Los Angeles, Denver, New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia as well as three whole states: Vermont, Maine and Oregon.
City council voted 37 to 3, and the measure will also ensure that managers and city staff have the training to make sure that undocumented residents in Toronto will be able to use city services without fear.
According to city councilor Joe Mihevic, who voted for the motion, “This is a historic moment because we are saying we are a sanctuary city and that anyone who is in the City of Toronto will be able to access all the services the city offers, be it in the areas of health, in the area of parks, in the area of library, in the area of public safety.”
About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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