by Muhammed Sillah, August 21st, 2013
Immigrants and refugee seekers have little or no chance to be released from the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre while being held for assessment of their immigration matter. Many detainees who have presented a minimum of $10,000 cash bond and ten times this amount as performance bond in guarantee of their cooperation with CBSA upon their release, is always turned down by the refugee board. A criminal with a pending murder charge are more likely be released from detention or jail than a refugee seeker or immigrant: has the hatred for immigrants gotten to this level?
The public safety representative and CBSA deem immigrants and refugees to be more of a threat to society upon release than criminals, which is absurd. Criminals who are likely to do what they do best as murderers if released compared to immigrants and refugees who are likely to work, pay taxes and contribute positive to the economy upon release, CBSA and the public rep still do not realize who is more of a threat to this society or a benefit?
Voluntarily leaving Canada to prevent deportation upon expiration on Visa’s and status of immigrants and refugees can be blamed on their strong ties with Canadians through marriage or children and are waiting on approval on their spousal sponsorship to acquire legal status again to avoid separation with their families, communities and jobs. Being fearful to return home has resulted in new developments at home under threats from groups, friends, and family or a change in sexuality and adoption of western lifestyle that has been accumulating to fearful reasons to leave for their native home upon status expiration. Tyrannical governments who citizens in the diasporas are using the proven success of political campaign and advocacy online post torture and death risks on their citizens on return to their countries. Tourists and business individuals with legitimate Visa’s, hotel reservations and pocket money enough to cover their time of stay in Canada are accused of searching for greener pasture and are detained and deported too often.
Refuge seekers in Canada are being arrested and staying together with claimants who refugee matters has been assessed to ensure reasonable grounds of their removal or stay in Canada. However, this is a recipe for failure for they have been refrained from being able to provide necessary documentation to appropriately represent their case to the IRB, which now includes only 30-60 days upon arrival in Canada to prepare and attend a hearing that determines their future in Canada. All while under a condition that refuses one’s access to internet usage, long distance calls and other necessary measures to ensure funding for proper representation with complete evidence, put together by counsel.
Immigrants and refugees are completely treated like animals or worse in the eyes of the public . They are transported in the same manner in which criminals are as if they retain the same risk upon society. When they are transported to hospitals for example, either for treatment or for exams, they are cuffed and shackled and held by the arm by guards, accompanied by two more body guards. This causes enough attention on detainees from the public giving them the impression of a criminal. Since they are in detention for minor immigration violation, or waiting on transit for few days until their flight date home, they remain sensitive on how the public receives them. They are innocent of any crime whatsoever, but yet the image portrayed on them is that of a vicious criminal: a criminal who is well guarded and restrained to evade any chance of escape. If criminals and other violent abusers of the law make it easier back into society or be condemned to GPS monitoring then immigrants should be treated just a little better but not the same or worse. Immigrants must be given the chance to be totally free when a required or reasonable bond is placed according to the law. They should secure the chance to be released or even placed on house arrest to minimize their movement if need be. The very least detainees deserve is a free and fair detention review.
There is believed to be shady interaction at hearings before the presence of detainees and during their detention reviews at the holding centre. The communication between CBSA and the member of IRB is certain before every detention review hearing. The member and the CBSA rep are always seated and ready before the appearance of the detainee and also in communication in the absence of the detainee. There was conversation I interrupted between CBSA and the board upon my entrance into the court room. I saw both parties talk and they quit immediately when they spotted me prior to my entry. It is known to all detainees that the decision of their continual detention is already decided before their appearance in court between the judge and CBSA or public safety representative. The CBSA rep always has the upper hand on what goes on in the decision of anyone’s continual detention or release. The judge never makes their own decision but is always influenced and considers what the CBSA has to say in one’s detention review foremost. For some reason the judge never argues what CBSA puts forward in the hearing, he is always arguing, discrediting and never satisfied with what a detainee or their counsel presents in court.
Every detainee is given the same detention review schedule on each day there is a review. Should there be ten detainees to be heard on a particular day, they are booked to proceed at 9am which is always false. This does not guarantee when your review is in place and it actually starts from after 9am until late afternoon. In between this time frame anyone could be called for a review if they were scheduled for that day. Should there be a representation, friends, family, etc. that are interested to be present at your hearing, they might leave for they are in limbo for up to eight hours. They are not assured when the review starts. Since a decision is known to have been rendered prior to the review it is known that no amount of cash or performance bond can results to ones release when they have agreed not to release you. Some of these lawyers cannot even argue your case because they have little or no idea about their client’s case but would show up just to show care or even accept the payment to represent in the hopes they land a reasonable member or at the very least, are luck of the draw.