Call to Action (September 19)

September 20, 2011

Call for Urgent Action: Stop the Deportation of Paola Ortiz !

STAY OF DEPORTATION REFUSED: Join us in denouncing the imminent deportation of a Mexican mother and her two Canadian children

Montreal, September 19th — Solidarity Across Borders denounces the imminent decision by the Canadian authorities to proceed with the deportation of Paola Ortiz and her two Canadian children of two and four years old.

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IMPORTANT UPDATE: On Monday evening, around 6 pm, Paola found out that her application for a stay of deportation had been denied by Federal Court judge Richard Boivin. Her appointment for deportation is scheduled for tomorrow morning, September 20th, at 7 am at Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau airport. 

She will present herself at the airport tomorrow morning without her kids, two Canadian citizens who require specialized medical follow-up that they would not be able to access in Mexico.

Once again, Immigration Canada’s unjust and racist policies are breaking up a family, and tearing a friend, a mother, a coworker, a neighbor, from our community.

In the words of Paola Ortiz, in an interview done shortly after she learned of the judge’s decision:

“What is Immigration Canada going to tell my children when they ask: “where is my mother?”. What is the government going to tell my kids if I die over there? Am I only a number?”

HOW YOU CAN  HELP:

Action at the airport: If you get this email before Tuesday morning, please consider showing up at Trudeau airport on Tuesday morning. Paola and her supporters will be holding a press point at 6:30 AM on Tuesday, September 20 to denounce her deportation. We will be meeting at the international departures area, call 514-998-7243 for more information.

HOLD KENNEY AND HARPER RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS! 

Please contact Immigration Canada and the Minister of Public Safety and DENOUNCE this outrageous and unjust decision to deport Paola Ortiz

Please call: 

Minister of Immigration, Jason Kenney ::

* Tell him you are outraged by CIC’s decision not to grant status to Paola Ortiz; state that she has already received a “Certificat de Sélection du Québec”
* Tell him that you are deeply worried about Paola’s safety should she be deported to Mexico; remind him that in 2009, Canada deported another young woman, Grise, back to Mexico; Grise was killed a few months after her deportation
(for more information on her case: http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/714781–deported-to-her-death)
* Ask him to use his discretionary power to grand Paola status and bring her home, to Montreal, so that she can be reunited with her kids, her family and her friends

Jason Kenney

Tel: 613-992-2235
Fax: 613-992-1920

Email: ason.kenney@parl.gc.ca

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews
* Tell him that you denounce CBSA’s decision not to grant a stay of deportation to Paola Ortiz
* If you call him early tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, tell him to use his discretionary power to immediately stop Paola’s deportation

Vic Toews
Tel: 613-992-3128
Fax: 613-995-1049

Email:vic.toews@parl.gc.ca

–> If possible, please contact the Director of Removals for Montreal EARLY TUESDAY MORNING. Tell her that it’s not too late to use her discretionary power to stop Paola’s deportation (mention Paola’s date of birth, January 10th 1980)

Julie Thibodeau
Director of Removals
Canadian Border Services Agency

1010 St-Antoine, 2nd floor
Tel: 514-283-0936
Fax: 514-496-1882

Adjointe administrative: – Noémie Rainville-Pelletier – 514-496-3983

Join more than 100 of Paola’s neighbours and community members, Solidarity Across Borders, and 25 community groups in demanding that a stay of removal be put in place for Paola Ortiz. To add your signature and the name of your organization, please contact solidaritesansfrontieres@gmail.com with ‘PAOLA ORTIZ’ in the subject line. 

NO MORE DEPORTATIONS! NO MORE DETENTIONS! JUSTICE FOR PAOLA ORTIZ AND HER KIDS!

Background

Paola Ortiz arrived in Montreal five years ago after fleeing a situation of sexual and conjugal violence in Mexico, her country or origin. There she was a victim of violent physical, sexual, and psychological abuse by her then-husband, a federal police officer.

She has been diagnosed by various specialists with post-traumatic stress and depression. Mrs. Ortiz’s children also have health challenges. Her daughter of four years suffers from significant hearing problems, while her son of two years has recently been diagnosed with autism. Both children are receiving treatment and support from various specialists.

In 2006 upon her arrival in Canada, Paola Ortiz requested refugee status from Canada. The Immigration and Refugee Board refused her application one year later, under the pretext that the Mexican state provided adequate protection to women survivors of conjugal violence. However, many sources from the field uncover the situation of violence for women in Mexico, and the almost absolute impunity accorded to its perpetrators.

During the summer of 2011, Ms. Ortiz was detained for one week at the Immigration Detention Centre in Laval, being consequently separated from her children. She is presently in limbo, awaiting a deportation date that could be issued and executed as early as this week. Her lawyer has submitted a request for a stay of her deportation, in her interests and those of her children.

By constantly threatening Paola and her family with deportation, the Canadian government is acting as an accomplice to the sexist violence that Paola has endured. Moreover, the government is ignoring not only its human rights obligations and its obligations towards refugees, but also its responsibilities towards children born on Canadian territory, children who have the right to live in conditions that are fair, safe, and with dignity. This means to remain in Canada, the country of their birth, with their mother.

For the other members of Solidarity Across Borders working with Ms. Ortiz, there is no question that Ms. Ortiz and her children will not receive the specialized services that they need should they be deported to Mexico.

The treatment of Ms. Ortiz in recent weeks displays a worrying tendency on the part of Canada’s immigration system; mainly, a flat-out denial of the situation of violence and its impunity in countries like Mexico, and the increasing use of repressive tools like detention and precipitated deportation, deliberately overlooking any consideration of the rights of the children or the psychological precarity of women who have experienced trauma and violence.

In 2009, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney imposed a mandatory visa on all visitors from Mexico, alleging that too many requests for asylum seekers originating from Mexico were false. This gesture is one of several measures recently put into place by the Canadian government that refugee advocates have decried as simply dividing and criminalizing immigrant and refugee communities, in an aim to restrict their access to Canadian territory.

Solidarity Across Borders joins Ms. Ortiz, her family, and many friends and community members of Montreal and Point St. Charles neighborhood, to demand that Ms. Ortiz be given permanent status in Canada.

Solidarity Across Borders is a network of support and struggle for the dignity and justice of migrants without status. Its principal demands are the end of deportations and detentions, the regularization of all non-status people and the abolition of the double punishment.

END DEPORTATIONS AND DETENTIONS NOW!

JUSTICE FOR PAOLA ORTIZ AND HER FAMILY!

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