Family members protest raids filmed for reality TV that rounded up immigrant workers

Published: March 14, 2013
Border Security: Canada's Front Line

A screenshot from reality TV series Border Security: Canada’s Front Line. Film crews from the show reportedly were in tow when Canada Border Services Agency officers raided several B.C. construction sites to round up immigrant workers. Submitted photo/National Geographic Network

IAN AUSTIN
VANCOUVER DESI

An angry, chanting crowd gathered in downtown Vancouver on Thursday to protest the televised raid of immigrant workers by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Film crews with the reality/documentary series Border Security: Canada’s Front Line were on hand Wednesday as CBSA officials cracked down at a local construction job site, prompting accusations of exploitation and invasion of privacy.

“They’re making money off the fact that people are violently deported every day,” said Harsha Walia of the group No One Is Illegal. “Families are torn apart every day.”

Byron Cruz said news of the illegal-worker raids has spread like wildfire in Latin America, home to many of Vancouver’s lowest-paid construction workers.

“Families have been phoning me from Mexico asking about their loved ones,” said Cruz. “They don’t know what’s happened.”

Force Four Entertainment promised that workers were not exploited in the filming of Border Security.

“Border Security is a documentary, not a reality series,” emailed publicist Andrew Poon. “We would not sensationalize any situation for this series.

“No one is identified in the programs without their written permission.

“Even then, names are not revealed.”

Poon said CBSA and Force Four lawyers are consulted before the show makes it to air.

“Before any story appears in a program, it is vetted by CBSA and Force Four’s lawyers to ensure privacy rights are observed.”

CBSA communications advisor Faith St. John emailed Vancouver Desi to explain why the raid took place.

“While attempting to locate and arrest a previously deported person with a significant criminal history, several foreign nationals were also found to be working without proper authorization and were subsequently arrested,” read the CBSA email, which noted that no money was paid for the filming.

“CBSA has a responsibility to protect the safety and security of Canadians by locating, arresting and removing individuals who pose a threat to public safety, who are subject to an outstanding immigration arrest warrant and who are in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act [IRPA] such as working without authorization.”

“In 2012 the CBSA reported 369 individuals for working without authorization, including 103 individuals in Pacific Region.”

St. John said CBSA participation in the TV series “is an opportunity to communicate Canada’s commitment to border security by increasing awareness of the CBSA and the role its officers perform to ensure public safety.

“While a film crew was present at Wednesday’s enforcement action, our officers do this on a daily basis in the absence of cameras.

“Participation in the television series is strictly voluntary. An individual’s case will not be negatively or positively impacted by their decision to participate or not.”

iaustin@theprovince.com
twitter.com/ianaustin007


Tags: , , ,





Featured

Ottawa's Elgin Street courthouse.

Federal court judge upholds passport ban on Toronto-area man who changed name

MEGHAN HURLEY OTTAWA CITIZEN A federal court judge upheld a decision to ban a Toronto-area man who changed his name based on advice from an…
Continue Reading »

Red-Carpet-300x186

Accepting nominations: Surrey’s Darpan Magazine to hold Extraordinary Achievement Awards next month

TOM ZILLICH SURREY NOW The achievements of 10 local people will be celebrated at an invitation-only gala event next month. The fifth annual Extraordinary Achievement…
Continue Reading »

india

Indian minister refers to Dec. 16 fatal gang rape as “small incident” that hurt tourism

IANS New Delhi  – An Indian minister is embroiled in controversy after he referred to Delhi’s fatal Dec. 16 gang rape as a “small incident”…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Ottawa's Elgin Street courthouse.

Federal court judge upholds passport ban on Toronto-area man who changed name

MEGHAN HURLEY OTTAWA CITIZEN A federal court judge upheld a decision to ban a Toronto-area man who changed his name based on advice from an…
Continue Reading »

Red-Carpet-300x186

Accepting nominations: Surrey’s Darpan Magazine to hold Extraordinary Achievement Awards next month

TOM ZILLICH SURREY NOW The achievements of 10 local people will be celebrated at an invitation-only gala event next month. The fifth annual Extraordinary Achievement…
Continue Reading »

Abraham Azhakathu

Travel request from Alberta priest accused of sexual assault rejected

THE CANADIAN PRESS PEACE RIVER, Alta. — A Catholic priest in northwestern Alberta who is accused of sexually assaulting a minor has been told he…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

teen music video

Vancouver teen’s music video gets over 300k views in less than a week

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver teen and aspiring musician Sid Bhullar has released his third music video online  – and within one week he’s already surpassed 300,000…
Continue Reading »

Unruly passenger tied to his seat

Drunk Air India passenger tied to his seat on flight after attacking people onboard, tearing clothes of two pursers

VANCOUVER DESI An Air India passenger, who went wild after a few drinks and allegedly tore the clothes of two pursers and bit some fellow…
Continue Reading »

Const. Ian MacDonald says: ‘You don’t want to see anybody carted away in an ambulance over this, and that is a very real possibility. Ric Ernst/PNG

‘It’s pride getting in the way’: Feuding Indo-Canadian youth factions worry Abbotsford cops (w/ video)

JENNIFER SALTMAN  VANCOUVER DESI  No one really knows how the conflict started. According to a number of people who are involved, in February one person…
Continue Reading »

Stone-health-Kaleem

Eight-year-old Indian boy’s swollen hands are larger than his head

VANCOUVER DESI Kaleem, an eight-year-old Indian boy suffering from a mystery condition has puzzled doctors after his hands swelled to giant proportions and are larger…
Continue Reading »

India-surgery

Doctors remove unborn child’s skeleton from woman’s womb after 36 years

VANCOUVER DESI In an unusual surgery, doctors in India removed the skeleton of an unborn baby from its mother’s womb after 36 years, the Press…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

The ice bucket challenge has hit Bollywood. From L to R: Sonakshi Sinha, Abhishek Bachcan and Mandira Bedi. YouTube.

The ALS ice bucket challenge hits Bollywood (w/ video)

VANCOUVER DESI The ALS ice bucket challenge has officially hit Bollywood. Originating in the U.S., the icy cold feat has swept the globe, dominating news…
Continue Reading »

Indian comedy actor  Kapil Sharma and Sumona Chakravarti pose during a press conference to promote 'Comedy Nights with Kapil'. NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

Kapil Sharma onto new ventures, including Comedy Nights tour that will reach Canada

IANS Mumbai  – Popular stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma, who is set to make his Bollywood debut with director duo Abbas-Mustan’s untitled film, is looking forward…
Continue Reading »

Barfi! hit Japan theatres on Friday.

Award-winning film Barfi! hits theatres in Japan

IANS New Delhi — After garnering appreciation in countries like South Korea, Turkey, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, Ranbir Kapoor’s Barfi! hit theatres in Japan…
Continue Reading »