On December 20th 2013, Lucia Vega Jimenez killed herself under the detention of the Canadian Border Services Agency in Vancouver BC. Her death, which was kept a secret for over a month, has sparked many questions and political action in the migrant justice community. No One Is Illegal put together a petition with over 7,000 signatures demanding an independent civilian investigation in to Lucia’s death and the end of racist and anti-migrant policies from the Canadian Government. Sula Greene spoke to Karla Lottini and Shireen Soofi from No One Is Illegal about their demands and the circumstances surrounding Lucia’s death.
Shirene Soofi: I am Shirene, I got involved with No One Is Illegal just over a year ago, after being involved with Solidarity Across Borders in Montreal, with Migrant Justice Collective and Anti-Colonial Migrant Just Work. It is through the injustices that I saw, taking place under the oppressive Canadian government and the Mexico exclusionary and racist policies that they are implementing on migrant, that became involved in No One is Illegal.
Lucia Vega Jimenez was in Canada from 2010. Since then she was arrested, and people were deported to Mexico. In between then, in 2013, she came back. On December 1st she was arrested by a transit police for an unpaid bus ticket, and form then she was transferred to immigration authorities and incarcerated pending for deportation. And from then, she was transferred to Vancouver Deportation Center, and was in detention until she hung herself on December 20th, and then die 8 days later at the hospital. And so, since then CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) keep it as a secret for more than a month until it got out public, and created huge public outcry for justice after her death.