Mexican living in Victoria confronted by man who asked to see immigration papers
Published Sunday, August 11, 2019 7:04PM PDT
A Mexican man currently living in Victoria says he was recently accosted by a stranger who wanted to see his immigration papers.
Fernando Garci-Crespo Santalo, 20, says he was busking and singing a song in Spanish when the man claimed he was an off-duty immigration worker and demanded to see his documentation and his busking licence.
"I felt frightened because of the things that have been happening in the United States with the El Paso shooting," he said.
He said this wasn't his first brush with xenophobia since living in B.C. and that's why he felt compelled to share his story.
"There are things that have been overlooked -- that are just seen as bullying or a weird guy who's telling you something that is not nice -- but I think the accumulation of those events leads to hatred … to things like what happened in El Paso," Garci-Crespo Santalo said.
Alan Dutton, the founder of Canadian Anti-Racism Education and Research Society, said he found the incident troubling.
"I'm very disturbed that Canadians are trying to emulate what's going on in the United States. I think that anybody that impersonates a federal government employee is acting irresponsibly and perhaps, illegally," Dutton said.
He blames far-right politics and racism for escalating tensions in both the U.S. and Canada.
"When politicians talk about an invasion of immigrants or an invasion by certain groups of people from different countries, that creates fear and loathing," Dutton said.
He said the best course of action is for people and communities to take a firmer stance against racism and protect visible minorities.