Refugee claimants coming to Canada through the United States not new

first_imgMONTREAL – One spring morning, Alfredo Rivas and his wife, who was seven months pregnant, grabbed the small bags containing their remaining belongings and headed north to Canada, a place they’d never seen.A week earlier, they’d decided to leave New York City amid worries the U.S. president’s promise to crack down on illegal immigration would put them at risk of being deported back to wartorn El Salvador.It’s a story that has recently become familiar to Canadians as the country has seen a rise in the number of refugee claimants crossing its southern borders — a phenomenon some have linked with rising anti-immigrant rhetoric and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump.Only, Rivas’ journey didn’t happen in recent months, and the president whose policies he was fleeing was Ronald Reagan, not Trump.While the scenes playing out at the Canadian border have garnered worldwide attention, northward migration is hardly unprecedented, says an author and historian who has studied the issue.“There’s a long history of people crossing the border fleeing U.S. policy and seeking refuge in Canada, whether you’re looking at African-Americans fleeing slavery in the 19th century, draft dodgers in the 1960s and ’70s, then refugees from Central America and other countries in the 1980s and ’90s,” John Rosinbum said in a phone interview.In November 1986, exactly 30 years prior to Trump’s election, Reagan signed the Immigration Reform Control Act, which stated that illegal immigrants who could not prove they had resided in the country for five years could be deported, and employers who hired them could be penalized.The move sent thousands of would-be refugees heading toward Canada, many of them originally from Central American countries such as Guatemala and El Salvador.This wave of arrivals caused Ottawa to dramatically shift positions in February 1987 and declare that asylum claimants would not be allowed to enter the country pending their hearing dates.The process essentially stranded hundreds of refugees, including Rivas and his wife, in communities along the Canada-U.S. border for weeks or months at a time, Rosinbum said.The small town of Plattsburgh, N.Y., pop. 20,000, unexpectedly found itself hosting an impromptu refugee camp for people originating from more than 50 countries.Without formal services in place, volunteers quickly jumped in to organize food, shelter and warm winter clothes for the refugees, according to former volunteer Margot Zeglis.“I think it was a surprise to everybody,” recalled Zeglis, who eventually co-ordinated the volunteer effort.“The Salvation Army was one of the first places they went but that was bursting at the seams, they would be sleeping under pews and filling the halllways with their small duffels of what their belongings were.”Eventually, she said, the volunteers became more sophisticated and formed partnerships with social services and various levels of government to organize better housing, food, counselling, translation services and entertainment for the guests.Despite the kindness of the volunteers, it was a stressful time, Rivas recalls.“They were small army beds, very small,” said Rivas, adding his wife’s stomach barely fit on one of the cots, which were lined up next to each other in rows.Rivas says he and his wife were allowed into Canada on April 6, 1987 — the same day his daughter was born.“They asked us (at the border) if we wanted the baby born in New York or Canada,” he said.While he chose New York, he said, his wife opted to give birth in Montreal — a decision he now concedes was the right one.Rivas, now a slim 58-year-old widower with two grown children, said many people who came up through Plattsburgh in 1987 are still friends.On a recent Sunday afternoon in Montreal, several of them met up for a backyard barbecue hosted by their friend Fredy Cruz, a fellow Salvadoran, to reminisce and eat plates of pupusas, or thick tortillas, filled with meat and cheese.Rivas’ friend, Nelson Gonzalez, who arrived at the lunch with Rivas, said he sees similarities between the run on the border in the late ’80s and the current situation under Trump.“It’s the same, always the same thing,” he said. “They’re scaring people to run from there. But it’s just a lot of talk.”Rivas, Cruz and Gonzalez, who all came to Canada in the same year, are now part of a group that helps raise funds to send money back to El Salvador.“We came here with nothing, just a small bag,” said Rivas, sitting at a picnic table in Cruz’s garage. “And now, we don’t have much, but we have something.”last_img read more

Expanding horizons and engaging audiences at Montreals doc festival

first_img Facebook Advertisement Advertisement “People have to feel they’re expanding their horizons,” Gourd-Mercado says of the spirit that guides RIDM. “Otherwise they can just watch Netflix.”RIDM was founded in 1998 by a group of documentary filmmakers, whose early gatherings had a definite entre-nous quality. The event is still well-attended by those in the business, but Gourd-Mercado, who worked for years as a film publicist before taking over the festival in 2014, is continuing a recent effort to raise the festival’s profile in the community. In the past five years, RIDM’s audience has doubled to around 63,000, she says, including those who watch its offerings outdoors, or in jail. ‘Our trademark is what we call creative documentary,” says Mara Gourd-Mercado, executive director of the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM). To get an idea of what she means, consider El Futuro Perfecto (The Future Perfect), a film from Mara’s native Argentina, which is among 128 entries selected for this year’s festival.The film focuses on a young Chinese immigrant named Xiaobin Zhang, whom filmmaker Nele Wohlatz met in a Spanish language class in Buenos Aires. Wohlatz, who had immigrated as an adult from Germany, befriended Zhang and talked with her about a film based on her efforts to fit into Argentinian society and resist her family’s traditional expectations. The two worked out a scenario and scenes, and Wohlatz and Pio Longo wrote dialogue in the style of the flat practice exchanges in Zhang’s language textbook. Wohlatz also shot several alternate endings for the story, based on Zhang’s suggestions. In method and feeling, there’s a lot about El Futuro Perfecto that resembles a feature film. We’re not shown footage of real-life situations, but scripted simulations, some of which feel comically stiff and unrealistic. The film is a comedy about the two-dimensional zone one enters when first learning a new language and culture. But it’s also about the complex emotions that such dislocations can provoke and all of it is tethered more or less closely to Zhang’s experience.Or consider Pierre-Yves Vendeweerd’s poetic Les tourmentes, one of seven films by this Belgian cineaste in an RIDM retrospective. Vandeweerd’s subject seems to be existential malaise in a bleak northern environment, exhibited via brooding shots of people immobilized in their houses, clinging to large rocks or shearing sheep. A female voice-over murmurs a text that is both descriptive and prophetic. There’s no story and no main characters, unless the story is the human condition as borne by a nameless community. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Advertisement Login/Register With:last_img read more

Rivian will offer its R1T and R1S with an electrochromic glass roof

first_img Comments 1:16 Auto Tech Electric Cars Trucks SUVs 2020 McLaren 720S Spider review: Treat yo self Hi Steven! We will offer multiple roof styles including electrochromic glass (which turns from opaque to transparent on demand), a fixed glass panel, a two-piece removable composite roof and a standard fixed roof.— Rivian (@Rivian) August 13, 2019 Rivian R1S concept puts electricity into an SUV The Rivian R1T might be the electric pickup truck of tomorrow Tags Now playing: Watch this: More From Roadshowcenter_img 2019 McLaren 600LT: Balanced and bonkers 2019 Acura NSX review: Hitting its stride 2 Jeep Enlarge ImageThe R1T and R1S models that Rivian showed at the LA Auto Show featured glass roofs, but an electrochromic version would be even cooler. Rivian Electrochromic glass — glass that can change its level of tint based on the amount of electric current running through it — has been around for a while, but it hasn’t gotten too much play in the automotive space, beyond Mercedes-Benz using it for the “Magic Sky Control” roof on some of its vehicles, and McLaren offering it as an option in the McLaren 720S.Well, now another car company is jumping on electrochromic glass for its vehicles and that company is Rivian, according to the company’s announcement via Twitter on Tuesday. In addition to the electrochromic option, Rivian plans to offer a standard roof, a fixed glass roof and a two-piece removable composite roof — we’d expect this to work like the removable roof panels on the Jeep Wrangler. Share your voice Rivian said that it plans to offer these options on both its R1T truck and R1S SUV models, though there’s no telling how much they’d cost or which version would be standard equipment. The vehicles that Rivian has been displaying to the public were both equipped with the fixed glass roof option, which we liked.While we’re still not totally sure when we’ll see a production version of either Rivian model, we’re betting that it’ll be sooner rather than later, thanks to massive investments from the likes of Ford and Amazon.Rivian didn’t immediately respond to Roadshow’s request for comment. 22 Photoslast_img read more

ICICI Bank to finally boot out Chanda Kochhar Sandeep Bakhshi to be

first_img Close Chanda Kochhar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI BankReutersAs the Videocon dirty loan investigation moves into another gear, the ICICI Bank board of directors has finally decided to remove tainted CEO and Managing Director Chanda Kochhar. The latest reports suggest Sandeep Bakhshi, the head of the bank’s insurance division, will become the next CEO.The two momentous decisions that will change the course for India’s second largest lender under allegations of partisan loan sanctions, are likely to be announced today after a crucial board meeting, the Economic Times reported.Kochhar, who has been in sharp focus over the loans ICICI sanctioned to the Videocon Group, is currently on leave but has more than year in her as CEO under the contract.The ET report said the bank has informed the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) that Bakhshi may be moved to a different role at India’s largest private bank by assets. IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:49Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:48?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … The board meeting on Monday will also finalise the terms of the appointment of Justice BN Srikrishna as the committee to investigate the allegations of conflict of interest by Kochhar.Kochhar has battled unsavoury attention ever since a whistleblower complaint linked her to irregularities in the sanctioning of a multi-crore loan to the Videocon group. The whistleblower alleged that ICICI Bank gave a Rs 3,250 crore loan to the Videocon Industries in 2012 under Kochhar’s watch.Independent probeThe complaint said that a few months before that loan was sanctioned, Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot had lent a whopping Rs 66 core to Deepak Kochhar, the CEO’s husband.Though the bank defender Kochhar, it yielded to investor and regulatory pressures and announced an independent probe into charges against Kochhar earlier this month and asked her to go on indefinite leave.Apart from the whistleblower complaint, investor Arvind Gupta had also alleged in 2016 that the loans to Videocon were a clear case of conflict of interest. He had said that the funding of a company called NuPower jointly by Dhoot and Deepak Kochhar pointed to the possibility of there being a quid pro quo behind the sanction of loans. In March this year, the CBI launched a probe into the connection between Videocon group and Kochhar’s husband. The bank had said last week chief executive Kochhar had received a notice from markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India seeking responses over alleged non-compliance. BIGGEST BANK FRAUDS IN 2018last_img read more

WWII bomb to force mass evacuation in Berlin

first_imgThe discovery of an unexploded World War II bomb will force a mass evacuation around Berlin’s central railway station Friday, covering several government ministries and a hospital, police said.Buildings and streets in a radius of 800 metres (875 yards) around the site north of the busy train station will be cleared from 0700 GMT until the 500-kilogramme (1,100-pound) explosive is safely defused, they said on Twitter Wednesday.The evacuation zone covers the central railway station, the economy and transport ministries, an army hospital and the embassies of Indonesia and Uzbekistan, a police spokesman told AFP.Police said it was not yet clear how many thousands of people would be affected but predicted to local media that “it will be big, it will be a major hassle”.The Deutsche Bahn rail company and urban transport operators prepared for large-scale disruptions around the central hub for trains, trams and buses.The bomb, which was discovered during construction work on Heidestrasse in the district of Mitte, was “safe for now”, police said, reassuring nearby residents that “there is no immediate danger”.Allied planes blasted Nazi Germany during the Second World War, and vast urban and industrial areas remain littered with unexploded bombs and other ordnance often found during construction projects.Last Friday in the state of Bavaria, an ordnance disposal team defused a 500 kilogramme bomb which had forced the evacuation of 12,000 people in the city of Neu-Ulm-the third unexploded bomb to be disarmed in recent weeks in the city of 50,000 people.last_img read more