Deportation Canada: A report-back on the Struggle of the Arellano-Diaz Family
Two weeks ago, the Arellano-Diaz family was deported to Mexico on board
Mexicana Airlines flight 881 from Dorval. Three years earlier, the family
settled in Montreal, having fled persecution by the policia judicial (or
judicial police) in Mexico.
Three months before their deportation, the Arellano-Diaz family was forced
underground, their refugee claim refused, and all other legal recourses
exhausted - due in part to incompetent legal representation, and despite
the fact that members of the family bear marks of violence inflicted by
the judicial police on their bodies. This decision was made even as the
Immigration and Refugee board (IRB)'s own Country Report for Mexico notes
the corruption and persistent human rights abuses perpetrated by police
forces in Mexico.
A month before the family's deportation, their 19 year old son Emmanuel
was arrested while hanging out outside a metro station. The police were
looking for a Latino who was alleged to have committed a crime. It was
not Emmanuel they were looking for, but because of the practice of racial
profile he was deemed guilty until proven innocent. The police checked
his identity and discovered that he was living underground, having failed
to obey a deportation order. He was quickly transported to the
Immigration Prevention Centre in Laval, and deported to Mexico several
days later, foreshadowing what would happen to the rest of his family.
One week before the Arellano-Diaz family's deportation, officers of the
Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) came to their home while the parents
were at out working the typically exploitative and precarious jobs
available to them, which drive the economies of large western cities like
Montreal. Despite their parents' absence, the officers still detained the
five children (3-year-old Genesis, a Canadian citizen, 6-year-old Samanta,
7-year-old Leonel, 11-year-old Brandon, and 18-year-old Karla) and
immediately placed them in detention in Laval, where they stayed until
their deportation. Their parents joined them two days later, unable to
bear their children being held hostage from them.
The morning of their deportation, a delegation of about 30 of the family's
friends and allies went to Trudeau airport in Dorval to inform passengers
taking flight 881 that a family was being deported on the plane with them.
All the so-called legal recourses had been exhausted by that point. A
face-to-face meeting with René Daoust CBSA's Director of Removals for
Montreal to demand an administrative stay of the deportation brought only
hostile indifference on the part of the Canadian government.
The airport delegation therefore persisted in their action, despite
threats of arrest from the Montreal police, the RCMP and airport security,
despite complaints from Mexicana Airlines, whose managers even refused to
let employees read the flyers that were being distributed. At 8:10 am
Wednesday morning, the plane carrying the Arellano-Diaz family took off,
only a few minutes behind schedule.
The case of the Arellano-Diaz family represents the reality of thousands
of non-status people in Canada, forced to live in fear and insecurity.
But it also represents their courage, struggling daily out of necessity
for their dignity and the right to choose the life they want for
themselves. Deported just days after the No One Is Illegal march to
Ottawa, the Arellano-Diaz family perfectly illustrated the reasons behind
the call for an immediate, comprehensive and inclusive regularization
program for all immigrants and refugees.
If you can offer financial support to the Arellano-Diaz family - in order
to facilitate their arrival in Mexico - , please contact
firstname.lastname@example.org. Your contribution, however small it may be, is