Media Advisory (September 19)


Federal court rules Tuesday morning deportation of mom of 2 young Canadian special needs kids can proceed as scheduled


Media contacts at the airport:
Julie Marcoux and Sophie Schoen : 514-839-1657 or 514-998-7243 (before 8 am)
For interviews during the day:
Sarita Ahooja (Eng / Fr) : 514-295-5095

WHAT: Deportation of Paola Ortiz
WHEN: Tuesday September 20, 6:30 AM
WHERE: Trudeau Airport, Montréal ; international departures area

WHO: Paula Ortiz; Ortiz’s lawyer Stewart Istvanffy; and Solidarity Across Borders

MONTREAL—On Monday, the federal court ruled that Canadian immigration authorities can proceed with deporting Paula Ortiz, a mom of two young Canadian special needs kids, who sought asylum in Canada in 2006 after fleeing her abusive former fiance, a federal police officer in Mexico. She is obliged to show up at Trudeau airport at 7am on Tuesday to be flown back to Mexico. Supporters of Paola will be at the airport to give support and denounce her deportation.

A request for a judicial stay, or suspension, of Ms. Ortiz’s removal from Canada was submitted by her lawyer, and over a hundred of her neighbours and community members, as well as 25 community organizations, signed a public declaration also calling for Ms. Ortiz to be allowed to stay with her young kids, aged 2 and 4, in Canada. However, federal court judge Richard Boivin, a Harper appointee, denied the request for the deportation to be suspended.

Ms. Ortiz and her supporters highlight that in going forward with her deportation, the Canadian government is breaking up a family, and depriving two kids, who are both Canadian citizens in need of special medical care that will be inaccessible in Mexico,  of their mother. Her 4-year old daughter has hearing problems and her 2-year old son has recently been diagnosed with autism.  Both children require services from medical specialists that will not be accessible to them in Mexico.

Ms. Ortiz and her supporters also underscore that Canada is complicit in perpetrating violence against women in moving forward with this deportation, abrogating its obligations under human rights treaties and the law of refugee protection. Paola Ortiz arrived in Montreal in 2006, having fled a situation of sexual and conjugal violence in Mexico on the part of her then-fiancé, also a federal police officer, and she has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has denounced the impunity granted to perpetrators of violence against women in Mexico. However, in 2007, the Immigrant and Refugee Board refused to grant refugee status to Ms. Ortiz, under the reasoning that Mexico assures adequate protection for women survivors of conjugal violence.

Despite complete non-cooperation from federal immigration authorities, Paola has successfully obtained a Certification of Selection by Quebec (CSQ).  The deportation will reverse her efforts to gain residence in Quebec and integrate into her community.