-> Non-status survivor of conjugal violence loses custody of son, arrested in pre-planned public ambush, and faces imminent deportation
Urgent Solidarity Picket Tomorrow
FRIDAY, JANUARY 24 at 12:30pm
Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB)
200 René-Lévesque West (Complexe Guy-Favreau)
métro Place d’Armes or métro Place-des-Arts
– Write/call/fax the Minister of Immigration (details below)
– Court solidarity; details to be announced (visit @SolidariteMTL on twitter or www.solidarityacrossborders.org for updates)
– Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to stay in touch
Ivonne Angelina Hernandez Segura, a survivor of conjugal violence who has been living without immigration status in Canada for a year and a half, was arrested in a pre-planned public ambush involving police and border authorities at Berri-UQAM metro station at approximately 4pm yesterday (January 22). Ivonne was arrested while she was picking up her one-year old son from her ex-partner.
Ivonne is at risk of imminent deportation. If she is deported, her son will be separated from her, perhaps for life. She is currently being held at Laval Immigration Detention Centre. She will appear at a Detention Review hearing tomorrow before the Immigration and Refugee Board, at Complexe Guy-Favreau.
On 11 December 2013, Ivonne fled to a women’s shelter with her son to escape a situation of conjugal violence. Her ex-partner promptly denounced her to authorities. In a shocking ruling on 10 January 2014, a family court judge awarded custody of the child to the father because of Ivonne’s vulnerable immigration status. Ivonne and her son were allowed to see each other six hours a week.
Ivonne came to Canada to seek asylum in 2009 but was refused in 2011 and ordered deported. Rather than return to the very real danger she faced in Mexico, Ms. Hernandez Segura joined the estimated half a million people living without papers in Canada, among the most vulnerable and exploited members of our society.
A mother has had her child removed from her custody, perhaps permanently, due to her immigration status. Every aspect of this case is disgusting and shocking. Ivonne should not be in detention. Ivonne should have status in Canada. Ivonne should have protection from conjugal violence. And, most importantly, Ivonne, a loving mother, should not be separated from her son.
Canada has made it very difficult for people in Ivonne’s situation to regularize their status. Although Mexico has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world, and has an extremely high homicide rate, Canada has placed Mexico on a list of “safe countries”; countries that Canada claims can protect its citizens from violence. A request to re-open Ivonne’s immigration file was made in November, because immigration officials failed to take all of the evidence into account, but there has not yet been a response. However, the Minister of Immigration has the discretionary power – and the obligation under international law – to intervene in the file and regularize Ms. Hernandez Segura’s status.
PLEASE SHOW YOUR SOLIDARITY
1. Picket and Hearing. Come out to a picket tomorrow at 12:30pm in front of Immigration and Refugee Board, Guy Favreau, 200 Rene Levesque West, Place d’Armes metro. Bring your signs & banners. There will also be a detention review hearing but we don’t yet know the time or if we will be allowed in; we will try to find out – if we do, we’ll let you know so you can come to show your support.
2. Email/call Minister of Immigration, Chris Alexander. Ask him to urgently intervene to regularize Ivonne’s status and ensure she is not separated from her child.
Telephone: 613-995-8042 Fax: 613-996-1289
Telephone: 905-426-6808 Fax: 905-426-9564
3. E-mail email@example.com to stay in touch about developments in this case and for updates; we need your active support!
Solidarité sans frontières: www.solidaritesansfrontieres.org
Solidarity Across Borders: www.solidarityacrossborders.org
Solidaridad sin fronteras: www.solidarityacrossborders.org/ese-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org