What does the murder of a 24-year-old woman, found with blows to her body and a bullet in her forehead in Mexico, have to do with Canada’s immigration system? To refugee advocates it represents the system’s fundamental failure to uphold the rights of asylum seekers: the 24-year-old victim and her mother and sister had twice sought refuge in Canada from the druglords who are believed to have killed her upon her deportation.
Immigrant rights activists are concerned by a pattern of tighter controls, increased deportations and inflammatory anti-immigrant posturing over the past year that further erodes the myth of benevolence in Canada’s immigration policy. According to figures obtained by the Canadian Press, deportations from Canada have skyrocketed 50 per cent over the last decade, with approximately 13,000 deportations annually. By August of 2009, over 9,000 people had already been deported this year. In October, executive director of the Canadian Council of Refugees Janet Dench told the Globe and Mail, “This totally contradicts people who continue to say in the media that claimants are never deported from Canada. The reality is that this is a daily business, a daily experience that claimants are very routinely removed from Canada.”