Amnesty International Canada

STOP JAILING PEOPLE for seeking safety or a better life in Canada


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Fill out the form below to send a letter to the Prime Minister, Minister of Public Safety and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. You will have a chance to review and customize your letter before it is sent.  

Note: When you submit this form, an email message will be sent to the Government of Canada including your name, city and email address. Other details you provide will be processed in line with Amnesty International’s privacy policy.



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1 people have taken action

"It’s been ten years since I was put in immigration detention… Hearing the sound of keys jangling takes me right back to the jail, with guards on their rounds… When I see a border officer, I have panic attacks.”

Sara Maria Gomez Lopez (pictured above) was detained in a B.C. jail in 2012 after fleeing persecution in Mexico. Instead of welcoming her with open arms, Sara says Canada turned her into a number, a faceless nobody. She wants Canada to end its inhumane immigration detention system once and for all. 

Did you know that under Canadian law, a non-citizen can be incarcerated indefinitely in immigration detention, based solely on administrative grounds?

Canada incarcerates thousands of people on administrative immigration-related grounds every year, including people who are fleeing persecution, those seeking employment and a better life, and people who have lived in Canada since childhood.

People in immigration detention are subjected to solitary confinement, indefinite detention, maximum security jails, and handcuffs and shackles.

A joint report by Amnesty International and Human Rights watch found that people with mental health conditions experience discrimination in immigration detention, and racialized people are disproportionately impacted by this system. 

The Canada Border Services Agency incarcerates people in immigration detention in provincial jails, which is a violation of international human rights standards. Our #WelcomeToCanada campaign went coast to coast, calling for an immediate end to the use of jails.  

The provinces listened! All 10 provinces have committed to ending their immigration detention agreements or arrangements with the federal government. This was an incredible human rights victory.  

However, the fight is not over yet!

Tell Canada to stop using jails and prisons for immigration detention!

Instead of following the provinces’ lead and working to end immigration detention, the federal government plans to use federal prisons for immigration detention, and wants to codify this rights-violating practice into legislation.  

We are urging the government to cancel these plans! Please join us in calling on the government to permanently end the use of jails and prisons for immigration detention by passing a policy directive or legislative amendment, and ultimately end immigration detention in Canada.  


Read Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch’s report: "I Didn’t Feel Like a Human in There": Immigration Detention in Canada and its Impact on Mental Health 

Hear directly from people who have experienced immigration detention:  

#WelcomeToCanada: Amina's Story 
#WelcomeToCanada: Abdelrahman’s Story
#WelcomeToCanada: Sara's Story 

PHOTO CREDT: Samer Muscati / Human Rights Watch




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