Hundreds in Toronto receive deportation orders

Posted by admin on Dec 15th, 2005

Family terrified as hundreds in GTA sent notices from feds. By TOM GODFREY, TORONTO SUN

Hundreds of failed refugees in the Toronto-area are being sought by immigration authorities who are making arrangements for their deportation during the holidays. The rejected refugees — many who have been here for up to five years — were mailed “call in notices” warning them to show up this month at the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre on Airport Rd. “Your attendance is mandatory,” the letter states. “Failure to report to this office … may result in a Canada-wide warrant being issued for your arrest.” The letter tells the immigrants to bring their own interpreter, OHIP and social insurance cards, passports and other identity documents. “We are terrified,” said Liseta Rodrigues, 28, who with husband Marco, 23, and their sons, Marc, 10, and Daniel, 7, came to Canada in 2003 as refugees from the Azores, a territory of Portugal.


“The children are happy and don’t want to leave,” the five-monthspregnant Rodrigues said through an interpreter yesterday. “This is a very stressful time for our family.”

News of the deportations by the Canada Border Services Agency has drawn fire from refugee workers and lawyers who call it a political ploy by the Liberals to win votes. “Politics played no role in the matter,” said Alex Swann, spokesman for Anne McLellan, the minister responsible for the border agency.

But Toronto immigration lawyer Richard Boraks said the move left dozens of his clients in a state of panic. “The government is conducting a wholesale deportation of people during an election to show how tough they are,” he said yesterday. Many of the refugees have homes, jobs and children in Canada and don’t want to be deported over Christmas, he said. Funds left over from a refugee reform program are being used to remove the rejected refugees who have no status in Canada, agency spokesman Anna Pape said.
“We allow them to leave the country with dignity,” she said. “We usually give them enough time to close off their affairs in Canada.”


She wasn’t aware of how many letters were sent out but said the removals won’t take place for weeks. The sudden removal of refugees may be a ploy to boost the department’s statistics, said Raoul Boulakia, of the Refugee Lawyers Association. “I think this action is to make their year-end statistics look good,” he said.

Comments are closed.