immigrant rights

49 petitions

Started 3 days ago

Petition to The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Dr. Elizabeth Brooks-Lim, Mr. Benjamin Smith, The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Honourable Kathleen Ganley, His Excellency Ambassador Adeyinka Olatokunbo Asekun

My husband died while being deported from Canada. Help me find out what happened.

On August 7, 2018, Bolanle Idowu Alo was on a flight being deported from Canada. Immigration enforcement was with him. He died. His body remains in Canada. His family in Nigeria want answers. Please read a letter from his wife below, and add your name to this petition to urge action.                                   Open Letter from Mrs. Alo To Canadian and Nigerian people and their governments, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, Alberta Medical Examiner Dr. Elizabeth Brooks-Lim, Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, Nigerian High Ambassador Adeyinka Olatokunbo Asekun and KLM CEO Ben Smith, My husband Bolanle Alo died on August 7th. No one told us that he was dead until four days later on August 11th. He died on a plane when Government of Canada was trying to deport him to Nigeria. He died while in the custody of Canadian immigration officers. Yet as of today, October 12th, no one from the Canadian government has contacted us to tell us what happened to him. When I first found about my husband’s death, I was tossed into a terrible state of chaos and confusion. I did not understand if I was on earth or if I had died. It was as if my soul had been ripped out of me. My husband Bolanle was a patient man. A man who knew God. From the day I married him, he has never fought with me. He was so gentle. He would never cause trouble. And now he is dead, and I don’t know why. We are writing this letter to tell the Canadian and Nigerian people, and the government who Bolanle was to us. We are writing to ask for help. First of all, we want an independent investigation into the police, the CBSA, KLM and everyone else who was involved so we can get answers. Secondly, we want to know how he died and what happened. I know my husband, he doesn’t like crowds or noise or a fight. But we hear that the airlines says that he started a fight that caused this. They haven’t given us any medical reports (autopsy reports) or a cause of death. The high commission says they cannot release his travel documents without a cause of death, and we are being told that it will take another 5 months to get any answers from the government. We ask the Nigerian High Commission to sign off on the waiver to let him come back to us. I spend all my time wondering what caused this. It makes me deeply depressed. We want to hear from the guards who were there with him and the doctors. We don’t know what his last words were. We want to know if they rushed him to the hospital or if they waited. We want the people on the plane to reach out to us and tell us what they saw. We have learned that my husband is not the only one, immigration in Canada has been responsible for other deaths on planes and in the prisons. Why does the government do this? Have mercy on us immigrants. Your people are in our countries too, and we do not do this to you. We urge you to talk to us and other families and implement measures to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Third, we want his body back, after all the tests so we can bury him. After my husband’s mother found out about this in Akure, she was unable to speak for 4 days. To take, this off her mind will be very difficult. The government of Canada wanted to pay to deport him but once he died they won’t send us his body. We have been waiting to put him to rest. In Yoruba custom, as a wife, I can’t leave the house until he has been put to rest. And so for months, I have been in my house, waiting and praying for him to return so we can make sure he can rest. Newspapers in Canada took one sentence from one immigration hearing and printed it about him. But they are not talking about the man we knew. Bolanle was born in a family of 7 siblings. He completed his education in the sciences and then became a salary earner. He worked many jobs. He worked as a security guard, and was even a security guard at the US Embassy in Victoria Island, Lagos. When Bolanle arrived in Canada, he tried to study at first but it was hard to pay the fees and he became a taxi cab driver. He was a quiet man, so he never confided in us about the difficult work he needed to do but he always sent money to us, and stayed in touch. We always said that one day we would all go to Canada to join him. We were waiting for that day until a few weeks ago. I work as a hairdresser and just a few months ago, we were making plans to help our family. But now he is dead, and we don’t know how we will survive without his earnings? Now because the Canadian government won’t pay for his body to be sent to us, his family in the US, church pastors in Nigeria and Canada have been raising the money. And we have raised it, but we still don’t have him with us. Lastly, I am asking for help with my family. I want my children to reach their potential, have them become educated and get meaningful jobs. Our family needs support. I am asking you to help me tell the Canadian government to have mercy on me. Return the body so he can rest. Give us some answers so we can rest. Bolanle was not a wayward or violent man. He was not a troublemaker, he was a man of God. His death has completely shocked us and we need the help of the Canadian people to tell their government to give us answers.     Posted by The Ribbon Rouge Foundation  

Ribbon Rouge Foundation
332 supporters
Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to Parliaments of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom

Advocate and introduce legislation promoting the free movement of citizens between the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

We believe in the citizens of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (the CANZUK countries) benefiting from a freedom of movement initiative, advancing the ever growing cultural, historical, economical and political connections that we already share through our Commonwealth ties. Because of the unique relationship and socio-economic bonds that Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom share, we believe that each country can benefit from a free movement agreement with each other, similar to the policies of the European Union and the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement (T.T.T.A) between Australia and New Zealand. We propose that the governments of the aforementioned countries finalise agreements (and inevitably, legislation) which make it possible for citizens to move freely with no restrictions regarding work permits or visa controls. Through mutual travel agreements and mobility schemes, Canadian, Australian, New Zealander and British governments can offer valuable economic connections, strengthen political relationships and benefit from cultural and historical traditions, while strengthening trade, investment, military and diplomatic relationships for the future. Freedom of movement is already a growing global ideology (as seen with the T.T.T.A and the European Union). Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom share the same head of state, the same common-law legal system, the same western culture, the same respect for democracy and even the same is therefore unreasonable for each to not share the same economic, political and cultural benefits that a free movement policy would bring . We hereby propose this petition to all members of the Canadian, Australian, New Zealander and British parliaments, and urge them to advocate such freedom of movement principles within their respective governments.  CANZUK InternationalWebsite:   www.CANZUKinternational.comFacebook:

CANZUK International
251,709 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to Ahmed Hussen, Serge Cormier, Jenny Kwan, IRC MInister

Grant Syrian Refugee and Ottawa Resident Dima Siam Permanent Residency in Canada

Dima Siam (far right, in white hijab, holding her baby, Maria), is a Syrian refugee welcoming her brother-in-law and his family as sponsored refugees to Canada on April 12, 2017. Siam is fighting a deportation order that would send her to Syria, the result of a simple paperwork error. The Trudeau government has thusfar refused to end her nightmare of limbo and grant her permanent resident status. We are seeking the same status for Dima Siam as was granted to 35,000 other Syrian refugees welcomed to Canada: permanent residency. To: Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; Serge Cormier, Parliamentary Secretary to Mr. Hussen; Jenny Kwan, NDP Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship  We are asking you to grant immediate Permanent Resident status to Dima Siam, a stateless Syrian Palestinian who lives in Ottawa with her husband and four children, all of whom are Canadian citizens. Since January 29, 2015, Dima Siam, a teacher with university degrees in education and biology, has lived under the threat of deportation from Canada to Syria, the very war zone from which Canada has recently received 25,000 refugees. Amnesty International writes: “As a Syrian woman Dima Siam faces a wide range of serious human rights abuses in Syria,” adding, “anyone fleeing Syria should be considered in need of international protection.” You can provide Dima Siam with that protection by exercising your discretion under Section 25.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and granting her the same Permanent Resident status enjoyed by over 25,000 Syrians recently welcomed to Canada. You have shown compassion and common sense in resolving cases like Dima Siam’s that were left over from the previous government, and we trust you will do so once more upon considering the facts of this case. Needless to say, the threat of deportation to Syria, where Dima Siam would be at risk from all sides of the conflict, is psychological torture. It has resulted in depression, family stress – especially for the young children, who fear they too will be deported and who won’t stay in a room unless one of their parents is constantly with them – emergency room visits via ambulance, and a range of other afflictions due to a life of constant fear and uncertainty. While a letter outlining the chronology of this case has been sent to your office, we wish to point out to you that Dima Siam finds herself in limbo because of a simple paperwork error, an honest misinterpretation of one checkbox on her sponsorship form, which was filled out by her husband, Mohammad. When Dima and Mohammad were called in to see an Immigration officer more than 20 MONTHS after it was submitted, they were informed their application could only proceed if they repaid a modest amount of social assistance that the family had received when the application was submitted.  Despite meeting the Immigration Officer’s requirement of paying back the social assistance, on January 29, 2015, Dima Siam’s sponsorship application was rejected, and she then received a letter with this ominous demand: “You are currently in Canada without status and you must leave immediately.” Needless to say, they were devastated. How could Canada send anyone back to Syria based on a checkbox error? What’s worse, in February, 2015, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) called Dima Siam in to fill out a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA), which the family took great pains to produce and submit. After waiting almost an additional stressful year for a decision (one in which the stress resulted in emergency room hospital visits), they were told the CBSA would NOT review the PRRA application because it was issued to the family in error. When the government makes a mistake that results in an additional year of excruciating limbo and thousands in expenses, the only ones who pay the price are Dima Siam and her family. Canadian courts and tribunals have long recognized that there will be instances where the strict, inflexible application of the rules in an individual case would be unjust and harsh, and the case of Dima Siam is certainly one of them (see, for example, Hajariwala v M.E.I., [1988] F.C.J. No. 1021, where the Federal Court of Canada recognized “The purpose of the [immigration] statute is to permit immigration, not prevent it.” See also Baker v. MCI [1999] S.C.J. No. 39, at para. 53-74, where the Supreme Court of Canada declared: “immigration officers are expected to make the decision that a reasonable person would make, with special consideration of humanitarian values such as keeping connections between family members and avoiding hardship by sending people to places where they no longer have connections.”)             While we are pleased to welcome 35,000 Syrian refuges to this country, we believe that Canada must also immediately end the limbo faced by Dima Siam and hundreds of other Syrian refugees facing deportation FROM Canada back TO Syria. They should be granted permanent resident status leading to citizenship so they can properly access health care, educational opportunities, and employment.             A positive first step will be the immediate resolution of the Dima Siam case, allowing her and her family to lift the weight of fear and terror that hangs over their heads with Canada’s threat to deport her to Syria based on an honest paperwork error.             We look forward to reading you have granted Dima Siam permanent residency and that your government will consider a similar solution for hundreds of other Syrians facing similar challenges.

Matthew Behrens
22,981 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to Justin Trudeau

Help Saudi residents/students from being forced out of Canada before it's too late!

I have the great pleasure of working with some of the best medical fellows, residents, and students; the majority of which are from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Due to the ongoing row between the governments of Canada and Saudi Arabia, a minimum of 8 300 Saudi students in Canada have lost their voice and will be forced to up-root their lives and leave Canada by the end of August 2018, regardless of their work, school, and social progress. The majority of these students, regardless of the Kingdom's order to leave Canada and the potential consequences, would do anything to stay in Canada to finish their work and studies. Unfortunately, the Saudi Arabian government is withdrawing all scholarships and funding to these students, consequently forcing these students out of Canada because they can no longer afford university tuition fees for international students which are three times higher than tuition fees for Canadians. Furthermore, since these students are not considered Canadian citizens, they don't qualify for any bank or government loans. Let us keep in mind that these poor students did not choose their government. As Canadians, we are strong believers in human rights and freedoms, this is how this whole feud began, and as Canadians we should not sit back as these rights and freedoms are being taken away from these students, especially if we can prevent it! Having worked with these amazing doctors and students for many years, I have seen firsthand how dedicated, passionate, and hard working they are, always striving to be the best. Providing exceptional quality care to patients and not to mention the amount of work and research that these student have provided to help advance medical science and technology, that could not be possible without having been paired with our great Canadian universities. It would be catastrophic if all the Saudi medical residents were to leave, as it would strain our health system which is already struggling with patient volumes. Not only negatively affecting the already overworked staff, but will indefinitely have negative consequences on the quality and timely manner of care to patients. We ask the Canadian government to please consider offering the Saudi students, residents, and fellows affected by this unfortunate feud, a choice. Possibly a fast-track Canadian citizenship or government loans, to help them stay and strive in Canada to achieve their dreams. Many Saudis fear speaking out and voicing their opinions due to possible persecution if they return home. As Canadians, we need to rise up and give them a voice. This would definitely be an investment for Canada, but a worthwhile one, that could greatly benefit us in the future as we are already experiencing a shortage of doctors. Let us be proud Canadians, who appreciate our hardworking doctors, who stand up for what is right, and who invests in a better future.   We, the undersigned, call upon the Canadian government, and all who share a common concern, to uphold Canadian values of rights and freedoms, by taking appropriate action in determining a solution for Saudi medical fellows, residents, and student who wish to stay in Canada, before the end of August 2018. The Canadian people and Saudi students depend on your conscience.

Megan Shelton
8,558 supporters