Associate Dean Gemma Smyth appeared on CBC's Windsor Morning show today to discuss the potentials of an Access without Fear policy in Windsor. This policy would provide undocumented immigrants with access to municipal services.
Smyth will moderate the Access without Fear panel discussion at Windsor Law later today which will feature Dr. Graham Hudson from Ryerson University, Loly Rico from the FCJ Refugee Centre and Jai Sahak from the municipality of Ajax.
Given our geographical location as a border city, Windsor is on the front-line of immigration and asylum protection. More than 25% of people in Windsor are immigrants, more than 40% of whom are immigrants are refugees. Many in-land cities in Canada have adopted “Access without Fear” policies but presently Windsor has failed to become involved. “Access without Fear” policy ensures that access to municipal services is open to all, enabling undocumented immigrants to meet basic needs without fear of deportation or detention. The policy has occasionally been criticized for pushing vulnerable peoples further underground, instead of directing resources towards the acquisition of full legal status for security and welfare.
The panel hopes to provide insight into how “Access without Fear” programs work, and the possible benefits and difficulties associated with its implementation in Windsor.