Canadian Politics: Nine Year Old Canadian Detained In Texas.
Sometimes there are stories you read in the paper that let you know just how far the world has drifted down the path of insanity. Right now as I write this article over 170 children are being kept in a former maximum-security prison in Texas. The euphemistically titled T. Don Hutto Family Detention Centre serves as a holding tank for people that don't have proper documentation to enter the United States.
Among those 170 children is a nine-year-old Canadian citizen named Kevin, the child of two Iranians who were so desperate to get back to the country their child was born in they had hired human smugglers to sneak them back. Majid and Masomeh (they don't use their last name) had originally come to Canada in 1995 seeking political asylum due to fear of persecution back in Iran. In 1997 Kevin was born in Canada and was automatically a citizen. This did not stop the Canadian government from deporting his parents in 2005 –ten years after they had applied for refugee status- because they did not meet the requirements to qualify as political refugees.
During the ten years they had lived here Kevin had reached grade three in school and Majid had managed to gain full time employment sufficient to support the family, and be productive members of society. Notwithstanding all of this they were sent off to a country which was completely alien to Kevin, and that his parents had done their best to forget.
What kind of government lets a family live in its country for ten years before deciding to deport them? If these people have lived here this long already and proven themselves to be productive members of society what point was the government making by sending them back? That they are unfeeling creeps who don’t give a shit about individuals but only about appearances?
Is it so important to them that they look like they are being tough on Muslims that they ignore individuals? Are they all only "rag heads" to those charming folk at immigration?
You know that in Canada in order to successfully apply as a refugee seeking political asylum because you are in fear of physical violence against your self and your family you have to have proof. How many people are going to think to go to the local police station and ask for the documents that show their arrest order, or the piece of paper signed saying they are to be tortured?
I know that's awfully negligent on their part and they probably should make more of an effort, but what can you do they're not like us are they? That's the problem with refugees, they're just so different from the rest of us and they don't know how to behave. Why I'm sure any decent person would have made sure to have all their relevant paper work in order – you would have, wouldn't you?
When Kevin and his family's plane landed in Tehran Majid was immediately arrested and hauled off to jail where he was tortured and beaten for three months. After being released friends and family began to make arrangements for getting the family out of the country again. They contacted a human smuggler who got them to Turkey for $20,000 and for another $20,000would get them to Canada.
They took a flight to Guyana, where they were booked on a direct flight to Toronto from Georgetown the capital city of the South American city. Because they were travelling on Greek passports they had no need of entry visas for getting into Canada, so they weren't questioned getting on the plane.
Unfortunately a fellow passenger had a heart attack and died and the plane was forced to land in Puerto Rico so emergency crews could remove the body. During the hold over they were forced to got through immigration, where they were detained because travelling under Greek passports they needed visas to enter the United States. They were held in Puerto Rico for five days before being shipped to the confines of Texas.
This was in spite of the fact that not only was their plane never supposed to have landed in the United States, their tickets were for Toronto with no stopovers in between, and they repeatedly insisted they didn't want to go to America. Maybe American immigration officials thought they had deliberately killed the fellow passenger so they could sneak into the States or that they were planning to parachute from the plane before it reached Toronto. You never can tell with these types – they may even have been planning on hijacking the plane and using it as a weapon.
Better safe then sorry when dealing with Iranians, especially ones who have no desire to come to the United States. That only shows there is something wrong with them. They'd rather go to Canada then the U.S. Yes it is true they were travelling under false documents, but they would have never come into contact with American immigration officials if not for a freak accident, and American demands that they go through customs for no reason. This should have been a problem for Canadian authorities to sort out, especially considering the status of the child, and been none of the American's business.
But now they sit and rot in an American jail, and Canadian authorities are doing squat for them. If the Canadian government wants to help one of its young citizens it will have to let his parents in to look after him. Parents who have already proven themselves to be responsible citizens, and people whose refugee claim should have been taken seriously in the first place.
According to Audrey Macklin, a professor of immigration at the University of Toronto, a case exists for a pre-risk removal assessment based on what happened to Majid when he was returned to Iran the last time. The assessment will determine the level of risk he faces if removed again from Canada and sent back to Iran and the level of risk he is to the Canadian public. So far the best the Canadian government has been able to come up with is some halfhearted comments about maybe being able to help Kevin but being able to do nothing for his parents.
How nice, remove a child from his parents after all he's been through to this time. Just the capper he needs for an already blighted childhood. Yanked out of his grade three class to be deported to a country he knows nothing about; his father taken away and tortured for three months; being smuggled out of a country where if they're caught they could very well have been killed; and now being held in a jail in Texas where if his father tries to visit him after nine thirty at night he won't be allowed to see him again.
They don't coddle families in Texas you see; (the only good nit is a dead nit was first said by an American general in reference to Native Americans; obviously not much has changed for some people, just who the nits are) everyone has to get up at 5:30am for showers, they have fifteen minutes to eat meals, everyone must go to bed at 9:30pm with laser-triggered alarms activated if anyone strays, and they are locked down three times a day for an hour for a head count.
And this is what they refer to as a residential, non-secure setting. Damn I'd hate to see what they call a secure facility. Hutto sounds like most maximum-security prisons in Canada not a detention centre for families who are awaiting decisions on their fate as refugee applicants or whether or not they are going to be allowed to continue their journeys before they were so rudely interrupted.
Nine-year-old Kevin has become so desperate that he has written a letter to Prime Minister Steven Harper of Canada, begging him for help. (The image is a thumbnail; drag your mouse over it for a larger "pop-up" view of the letter) He might get lucky, because Canadians are facing an election and depending how the public react to his plight, Kevin might find himself the beneficiary of Prime Ministerial intervention.
If Harper senses he can make political hay out of this at the Liberal party's expense he will charter a plane to take him to Texas so he can bring little Kevin and his family to Toronto personally. But if it looks like most people don't really care one way or another, you can bet he will issue a statement expressing sympathy and his belief that the system will work our right in the end. The Prime Minister can't be seen showing favouritism if it's not going to win him significant points with the voters.
It's reading about these types of situations that remind me of where true evil resides in the world. It lies in the inherent lack of compassion that we imbue all our systems with. We encourage those carrying out the orders not to get emotionally involved, and to treat each case the same with no deviations. Situations and people are never unique so all you have to do is process forms not worry about whether or not you have just sentenced someone to months of torture and possible death because they don't quite qualify as a refugee.
Better luck next time. Hope you live! Next! I'm only sticking to the rules, is not that far from I was only following orders. Kevin and his family should never have been deported in the first place, but there are rules about these things and they have to be obeyed. God knows what would have happened if they'd been allowed to stay: Kevin would be in Grade five and his dad might have had a promotion at work.
The end of civilization as we know it.