Tamil migrant gives birth to girl at Maple Ridge hospital

Posted by admin on Sep 25th, 2010

By Douglas Quan, Postmedia News September 25, 2010

One of the 492 Tamil migrants who arrived in B.C. last month has given birth to a girl. The woman was transferred from the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge to a local hospital Thursday night, said Malini Dyonisius, one of the lawyers representing the migrants. Dyonisius said she received a call at 7 a.m. Friday from another migrant at the detention facility informing her that the woman had given birth to a girl. The woman had been scheduled to have a 30-day detention review hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board in downtown Vancouver on Friday. All parties agreed to keep the woman in custody and hold another hearing on Tuesday, said Paula Faber, an IRB spokeswoman.

The woman’s husband was being held at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre, also in Maple Ridge. It could not be immediately confirmed late Friday whether he had been allowed to see his wife and newborn child.

Shakila Manzoor, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency, referred all inquiries to B.C.’s ministry of children and family development. Ministry spokesman Darren Harbord said he could confirm that the woman and child remained in hospital.

Once they are discharged, they will be taken to the Burnaby Youth Custody Centre, where the other migrant mothers and children are. The children are not officially detained, but are staying with their mothers.

Harbord said the children’s ministry is working with the education ministry and the Burnaby school district to provide temporary educational services for all the school-aged migrant children, including English training.

Since the Tamil migrants arrived on B.C.’s coast on Aug. 13 aboard the Thai cargo ship MV Sun Sea, 15 have been ordered released — seven women and eight men.

A citizenship and immigration official confirmed that the baby — because she was born in Canada — is automatically a Canadian citizen.
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