Every day MIREMS consultants are reading, watching and listening to Canada's multilingual and multicultural media. We bring you the day's must-read story.
While Ontario and the Federal government have been arguing about what to call them, The Vancouver Police Department released their “access without fear” guidelines. The guidelines, meant to encourage access to police services and enhance the safety of people with uncertain or no immigration status, have been met with mixed reviews.
New VPD guidelines aim to facilitate access to police services for undocumented immigrants - South Asian English
Published by Darpan Magazine an English-language source from Vancouver.
"Vancouver Police today released proposed “access without fear” guidelines, which formalize the VPD’s approach to enhancing the safety of undocumented immigrants. The guidelines encourage access to police services for people with uncertain or no immigration status. The guidelines give direction to police officers to not elicit information about the immigration status of a witness, complainant or victim, and not to enlist the assistance of Canada Border Services Agency on any investigation about a witness, complainant or victim, unless there is a legitimate, genuine reason to do so. Even in the absence of official access without fear guidelines for police services, the enforcement of immigration offences has not been a priority for the VPD. From 2015 to 2017, immigration arrests in Vancouver accounted for only 0.01 percent of all calls for a police response. In addition, Vancouver Police have consistently stated that undocumented migrants, who are victims of, or witnesses to, crime, should not be fearful of coming to the police for help, as the VPD’s primary concern is investigating the crime itself."
Two more stories, from Mandarin Talent Vision Canada News, and Cantonese Fairchild TV in BC also covered the news. Both mentioned the direction for officers not to ask about the immigration status of a witness, complainant or victim, and not to enlist the assistance of Canada Border Services Agency on these investigations unless there is a legitimate reason to do so."
National news coverage also mentioned that police's access without fear policy might give immigrants a false sense of security in thinking they would never be asked about their status.
MIREMS will continue to monitor opinions on the guidelines from Vancouver and Canada's multilingual and multicultural media.