Yesterday, numerous people were interrogated, arrested, and detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency. One of them was my husband. Shockingly, some of these traumatic experiences were filmed for a reality TV show "Border Security" which airs on National Geographic Channel.
Armed CBSA officers stormed a construction site in Vancouver, interrogated and handcuffed migrant and undocumented workers before carting them off, including in unmarked black SUVs. Most of these people are now being held for deportation even though some of them were in the midst of making various immigration, refugee, and sponsorship claims.
While intimidated and in custody, they were given consent forms to sign so their footage could be aired on TV. My husband refused to sign these forms because he recognized it was wrong, but other people who he is being detained with signed under duress. National Geographic claims to be "inspiring people to care about the planet" but with this show they are simply profiting off of human suffering and degradation.
The responsibility for this show falls on National Geographic Channel (owned by Shaw Media in Canada), Force Four Entertainment, and the Canadian Border Services Agency, which takes its orders from Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.
We are urging National Geographic Channel and Force Four Entertainment (the show’s production company), to cancel the show "Border Security" immediately, and for the Canadian Border Services Agency to stop participating in this program and conducting violent deportations.
My husband Renan was one day from completing his immigration sponsorship forms. We married in November and Renan still had final sponsorship documents to submit. He was supporting family in Honduras, as well as my own daughter Aaliyah. Our family’s suffering is a private matter, and should not be broadcast as entertainment.
My husband has been caught in a systemic problem— he had to work in order to support us and for the sponsorship application to be looked upon favourably, but a work permit wasn’t yet granted. He will be deported to Honduras within a week where he fears for his life.
Deportation, exploiting human suffering, coercing migrant workers, and tearing apart families is not entertainment.
The first season of "Border Security" is already airing on National Geographic. By running this deceptive and exploitative show, National Geographic is complacent in the victimization of people who are living, working and building community with their families and loved ones.
By signing this petition, we are sending a message that deportation for the sake of entertainment is unacceptable.