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Family of four cruelly deported

Immigration Canada rushed to expel family before agreement with US expired

Link To photos from Rally on October 29th to stop the deportation of the Des Roy Family

Montreal, 29 October 2009 -- A family of four was deported this morning after a very painful parting from friends, community members and supporters.

Early this morning, over 150 people gathered in support of Ranjit Dey Roy, Ratna Rani Dey Roy and their two sons, Swaikot et Swakshar, outside the Immigration Canada building on St-Antoine street. Tears flowed as community members and supporters took their leave from the distraught family. Shortly after 8am, the family was taken into custody by Immigration agents. They were deported to the United States, where they face undergoing new immigration proceedings and probable deportation to Bangladesh. The family is currently in New York.

An agreement between Canada and the United States which had allowed Canada to deport immigrants to the United States if they had entered Canada from the US expires tonight at midnight. Immigration officials were apparently aware of this fact when they rushed to push the family out of the country in an unusually short time frame. Yesterday, members of Parliament met with Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in Ottawa to request an emergency stay of deportation for the family, but Kenney refused to show any mercy.

Arriving in Canada as refugee claimants in June 2004, after fleeing persecution as a religious minority in Bangladesh, the Dey Roy family saw their refugee application refused in spring 2005. They tried by every means possible to remain in the country, knowing that deportation would cause them hardship and suffering. They were finally ordered to report for deportation after their application for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds was refused on 30 September 2009. The unjust, callous, and cruel decision to deport the family has destroyed the lives that they worked so hard to establish in Montreal and forced them into renewed instability and anxiety.

Nine year old Swakshar was in 3rd grade. The boy entered Quebec at the age of 4 and has pursued all his schooling in French; he does not write Bengali nor speak it proficiently. Canada has legal obligations to ensure that the best interests of a child are duly considered in immigration decisions and it is clearly not in the best interests of Swakshar to be uprooted for the second time in his short life and forced into a situation of instability and stress.

His older brother Swaikot, who arrived in Canada when he was 14, has since pursued his studies in French. His studies abruptly ended, before he was able to obtain his high school certificate, when the family's immigration application was refused. He has been working two jobs to help support the family. Both boys enjoy strong support from their schools, and a petition was circulated in support of Swaikot at his high school.

Despite the barriers they faced in coming to a new society, and the anxiety and instability they experienced because of immigration proceedings, both parents managed to find steady work and to put down roots in Montreal.

Community groups and migrant justice organizations will work to bring the family back to Canada, but the process is far from certain and takes many years.

Stop the Deportations! No One Is Illegal

For more information and to support the Des Roy family:
Hindu Assocation of Montreal

Immigrant Workers Center