CANADIANS, PLEASE CONTACT PETER MACKAY!!

I am re-posting my post of yesterday in case some of you have not seen it.  Please read and follow up with your actions!  A Canadian child’s health is at stake!  Remember what happened to Maher Arar?!  Do not let this happen again!!!  We are people of conscience, not barbarians!!  Show your support of this sick child and his family NOW!!

URGENT ACTION: Canadians, contact Peter MacKay!

February 24th, 2007

I am asking ALL Canadians who care about human rights and social justice to PLEASE CONTACT OUR FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER, PETER MacKAY about the ordeal of the nine-year-old Canadian boy who is being held at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center in Taylor Texas!

For links to my earlier articles and some background about this family’s terrible situation please read this: Nine-Year-Old Canadian boy Pleads for Freedom from Texas Detention!


Listen to Amy Goodman’s telephone interview with the little boy and his father and read the transcript of their conversation on Democracy Now!:

* “I Want To Be Free”: 9-Year-Old Canadian Citizen Pleads From Texas Immigration Jail *

*** Many thanks to liberal catnip for providing the link to Peter MacKay’s contact info on her post here.

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30 Responses to CANADIANS, PLEASE CONTACT PETER MACKAY!!

  1. skdadl says:

    Annamarie, I don’t know whether you’ve noticed, but I was hoping that we’d have a blogburst this morning and I tried to contribute, but PB for some reason is not picking that post up. I know you read it, but it isn’t coming through to the aggregator. Sorry. If we can get this sorted out, I’ll repeat the post tomorrow.

  2. Kuri says:

    I sent a letter – it’s probably not my best effort (things are sort of crazy here this weekend) – but more voices will surely be more convincing. 🙂

  3. verbena19 says:

    Thanks! Please do that. That’s why I keep repeating it too. I guess PB is not as ‘Progressive’ as we thought….

    There’s been talk amongst a few of us about getting together another, truly ‘progressive’ aggregator. you will find it in the yesterday’s diary posts.

    liberal catnip has been really great. i’ve enlisted her help, as it’s just too much for one person. we’ll be putting something together soon, and on our sites. be sure to check hers or mine for the update. we must keep this in the public’s eye — at least as far as the blogging public is concerned.

    i just received an email from the law student. he saw the family and says they are very depressed, especially the little boy. he is already sick with asthma. their terrible ordeal cannot be allowed to continue! they must be granted visas to enter Canada while the parent’s refugee claim is obtained. meanwhile, the little boy must be allowed to go back to his school, where he is wanted and missed.

    if you have any blog aggregators, hopefully they will pick it up. that’s why i’m linked to more than just ‘ProgBlogs’. Blogging Change is a good one! if they aren’t already on your blogroll, you can find their link on mine and sign up.

    Thanks again, and please, please keep up the work. do not abandon this family. we need the conjoined efforts of MANY to bring about justice!

    (excuse my verbose ramblings…. guess i’m over-tired, over-wrought, over-emotional with this family’s terrible ordeal….)

  4. verbena19 says:

    Kuri, thank you so much. Don’t worry about your letter not being your ‘best effort’. mine wasn’t either. i’m overtired, overwrought, over-emotional about this family’s terrible, ongoing ordeal….

    please keep putting up posts on your site to keep this in people’s eyes, ok? you can just copy/paste mine if you wish. we must not let this simply go away. let us not forget Maher Arar!!!!

    in solidarity,
    annamarie 🙂

  5. JimBobby says:

    Whooee! James Robert sent a letter t’ PeteyBoy an’ told him t’ act fer the sake o’ human decency.
    JB

  6. skdadl says:

    God bless y’all, Annamarie and kuri and JimBobby. Get some sleep, y’all. If we’re gonna keep fighting, we all need some good sleep.

  7. Scott Tribe says:

    Skdadl’s post didn’t come through because of an aggregator feed problem with Skdadl’s site. It wasnt because anyone at Prog Blog tried to stop it.

    You may argue over the merits of how “progressive” the site is and the affiliates are, but this isn’t one of the reasons to be arguing over.

    I know you and Skdadl already know this.. as you’ve already both commented at Skdadl’s diary at Prog.. but I’m saying this anyway, lest someone get the idea we’re somehow trying to censor this from our site – that’s not the case.

  8. verbena19 says:

    I know that, Scott. Sorry if that’s what I may have implied. I’ve been running on no sleep, no food for days, so my already feeble brain is malfunctioning. 🙂

    I really should take Skdadl’s sage advice and get some sleep… thing is, that I’m too revved up and distraught by this terrible situation to be able to sleep… maybe I should have a hot bath and a warm drink to help…

    Thank you so much Jim Bobby, Skdadl, Kuri, catnip, A.R., all the others who are helping with this! You are all simply the best! Giving you a ‘virtual hug’ (don’t know how to put that in here :)).

  9. FurGaia says:

    Hi Annamarie,

    I did a quick research on this and below are a few links that I found (and there are lots more!) on that detention center. I did that fairly fast and hope there is no mistake in the info below or in the links.

    The federal government has just organized a PR tour for the media. Little interaction was allowed between journalists and the people incarcerated. One journalist reported that on average people are incarcerated for about 40 days. Well, we know of one Palestinian family that was kept locked for 90 days!

    Here are some of those links:
    http://www.texaskaos.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=2632
    Report recommends closing immigrant detention center!
    A penal detention model that is fundamentally anti-family and anti-American: “The report also criticized the educational services for children; the food service and rushed feeding times for children; the health care, especially for children and pregnant women; and inadequate recreation for children.

    The report also cited inappropriate disciplinary practices used against adults and children, including threats of separation, verbal abuse and using temperature control, particularly extremely cold conditions, as punishment.”

    I shall follow Kuri’s lead and post an entry at my two blogs also.

    Do take of yourself!

  10. verbena19 says:

    FurGaia, thank you so much! I’m just checking out the link now! Then I’ll go visit you sites..

    Thanks for following Kuri’s lead! There are several very good, decent people over at PB who have come onboard too! Good stuff!

    Annamarie

  11. […] is detained by U.S. authorities 25 02 2007 Slow to catch up on this story, as I have been, this is another extreme, and urgent, example of what can happen to any travelers whose plane, for whatever unplanned reason, enters U.S. air […]

  12. JimBobby says:

    Whooee! I jest recorded up a new song an’ it’s aimed at ol’ Petey Mackay an’ it’s all about this here 9 year old Canajun Kevin. It’s better’n my usual singin’ on accounta I got my buddy Steve t’ play guitar over top o’ my wailin’.
    http://jimbobbysez.blogspot.com/2007/02/nine-year-old-blues-audio.html

    JimBobby

  13. Apparently few folks are actually reading the transcript of the telephone conversation with the family in Puerto Rico, and bear in mind that their “story” stated in the call is completely unverified at this time, including claims of torture, what authorities said or did not say, etc. Also remember that this father/mother is a proven liar and subverter of the immigration process in Canada, so his current “claims” should be taken as just that … claims.

    If I understand the situation correctly:

    1. The Iranian husband and wife got into Canada illegally many, many years ago, and sought asylum but were ordered deported.

    2. During their stay in Canada their son Kevin was born. He is now 7 (or 9) and is claimed to be a Canadian citizen; someone might want to confirm this. Frankly, I think THIS is a travesty against Canadians if it is true (that Kevin is a Canadian citizen).

    3. The family lost their hearings and were deported back to Iran.

    4. Somehow, the family was trying to get back into Canada again, with no visas or pre-authorization. There is no evidence in the dialogue that their son had a Canadian birth certificate, passport, or any other form of Canadian identification. The fact they were flying through Guyana (Costa Rico also mentioned) on their way here suggests a very round-about approach to getting into Canada. Wonder why?

    5. They say their plane made an unplanned landing in Puerto Rico (US possesion) due to an on-board flight emergency. This can not be verified, and it is just as possible that the family was trying to get into the US. Note: Puerto Rico one time during the phone call, Costa Rica another time — very confusing.

    6. The US authorities have detained the family in PR. Presumably the lack of a Canadian or US visa for the family made them undesirables, which is understandable. They sure can’t send them on their way to Canada … this isn’t anything remotely resembling the Arar case that some commenters are trying to insinuate in the blogsphere.

    7. The storyline really is told in one sentence (probably unthinkingly) by the father in the call: “If Canada give us a visa, we go there; we go to US, if here, we’ll stay here.”

    So, as a Canadian, I have zero sympathy or tolerance for a family which has already entered Canada illegally before, been ordered deported, have gone through the appeal and hearing process, have been deported finally, and who are trying to sneak back into Canada again.

    It is not like the father and mother are uninformed. They are fully informed and experienced with our immigration process. Moreover, their escapades have resulted in the expenditures of huge sums of taxpayer money already.

    As far as I am concerned, Canada does not have one iota of responsibility for this family, and we shouldn’t waste our breath on them. If a “do-gooder” wants to spend his/her own money and time on this, including erroneous “petitions” to Minister McKay, then fine. Just don’t ask Canadian taxpayers or our government to support the escapades of this family any more.

    Of course, if the family has a responsible relative in Canada willing to assume responsibility (including financial) to take care of their son in Canada, and if the boy actually has Canadian citizenship and papers to prove it, and if they have the means to get the son to Canada on their own (or friends) financial hook, then let them do it.

    That’s the only (possibly) legal part of their illegal, repetitive scheme.

    As usual, there’s more than meets the eye when the “It’s a travesty” crowd” come out of the woodwork and start screaming.

  14. Kenn Chaplin says:

    I sent my letter, a slightly more polite version of my post on the matter. 🙂 Thanks for your great work!

  15. verbena19 says:

    Erik, I find all your allegations completely baseless, unfounded, untrue. I will not answer them point-by-point, as it is obviously useless for me to enlighten an obtuse, close-minded person.

    However, I will quickly clarify a few things and ask you some questions:

    How can you have the audacity to call the father/mother a “proven liar”?

    How can you even question Kevin’s citizenship? I specifically stated in my article(s) that he is indeed a Canadian citizen. This was proved beyond doubt by the authorities, who viewed ALL their papers!! (Iam in constant contact with Matt Pizzo, the Texas University Immigration Clinic law student who is tirelessly working on this case!)

    Their flight had nothing to do with Costa Rica. That was a misprint in Amy’s transcript of the phone conversation with the father. She merely misunderstood him over the phone and with his accent. There is nothing confusing about this.

    The father was indeed tortured in Iran when they were deported back there by the Canadian authorities. How can you question this, were you there???

    They were on a DIRECT FLIGHT from Guyana to Toronto. (They can’t very well simply board a plane in Tehran if they were fleeing, can they???)

    Another passenger on the same flight suffered a heart attack, so the plane made an emergency landing in the US colony of Puerto Rico.

    Are you following, so far???

    As for the father saying that if Canada gives them a visa they will come here, otherwise they will apply in the US is merely a desperate, tired man trying to convey his dilemma.

    Are you really so cold-hearted that you can’t understand this???

    Anyway, by your statement:

    “As far as I am concerned, Canada does not have one iota of responsibility for this family, and we shouldn’t waste our breath on them. If a “do-gooder” wants to spend his/her own money and time on this, including erroneous “petitions” to Minister McKay, then fine. Just don’t ask Canadian taxpayers or our government to support the escapades of this family any more.”

    … I can see that you have absolutely no idea about Kevin, his family or their situation. So it is useless for me to say anything more.

    You should not be so quick to jump to conclusions and assumptions. That is all I will say for now.

  16. JimBobby says:

    AnnieGal, Erik probbly ain’t even gonna come back an’ look here unless it’s t’ see if you deleted his copy an’ paste bigass trollin’ comment that don’t mean squat on accounta there’s human rights of a 9 year old Canajun bein’ abused an’ that’s what matters an’ none his innuendo crappola BS horsepucky.

    I reckon Erik’s one o’ them there “compassionate conservatives” like George Bush an’ Dick Chaingang. Pay him no heed, AnnieMarie. He’s the one who ain’t worth yer breath.

    JB

  17. verbena19 says:

    Jim Bobby, I’m sure your song is very good. I will listen to it as soon as I fix (if I’m able) the audio probs I’m having with my pc. Thanks for your ongoing support and solidarity!!

    Kenn, I will go check out your post as soon as I finish typing this. I’m sure it’s a good one! Thank you for writing your letter to MacKay! Your support and solidarity is much appreciated.

    Thanks also to ‘My journey with AIDS…’ for putting in the link and writing about this on his blog.

    I am still somewhat upset by the right-winger comment of Erik Sorensen, and disappointed that a Canadian could be so presumptive, obstinate, judgmental, heartless and downright callous, without even bothering to know more of the facts. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the US doesn’t hold the monopoly on having these kind of people — it’s just that I expected more from Canadians. Goes to show you that we are not much different. Having lived for many years in different parts of the US, I had welcomed my return to Canada as the ‘land of sanity’. It is disheartening to know that I was greatly — sadly — mistaken. My naivete….

  18. Scott Tribe says:

    Erik leaves stuff like that at my blog all the time, Verbena. Consider it a badge of honour if he decides to visit your site to leave his delusions. He obviously doesn’t have enough vitriol to write about over at his site, so he tours the Prog Blog and Liblogosphere’s to see if he can find a post he particularly loathes.

  19. verbena19 says:

    Thanks, Scott for letting me know. I was unaware that such types exist here in Canada. Obviously I was very naive… When I see the vitriol from people like Erik, I feel that in returning to Canada, I haven’t returned home, after all….

  20. Human Rights and the Rule of Law

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  21. verbena19 says:

    Thank you, and also for the post you put up on your site. Much appreciated!

    I’ve left you a couple comments there. 🙂

  22. ed~ says:

    Annamarie, don’t know whether you’ve seen this Amy Goodman’s article on this awful event: We’ll Lock Up Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free.

  23. verbena19 says:

    Yes, I’ve seen it Ed. thanks! I’m a subscriber to Democracy Now. Under the Bush regime, the US is sinking further into a totalitarian state.

  24. Alison says:

    Annamarie :
    Just saw good coverage on the 5pm GlobalTV news.
    They showed the facility, read out Kevin’s letter to the PM, cut to Steve looking uncomfortable at press conference saying, “Of course the Canadian government doesn’t have jurisdiction yada yada yada….”

    I think you’ve done it.

  25. verbena19 says:

    Alison, thank you for letting me know. I did not see it, although I usually watch Global News. Had to go to an important meeting. Just got home little while ago. My Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla was at the meeting too, and she told me that not only had she written MacKay about Kevin’s plight, but she’d also talked to him on the phone. She’s been really good at helping and the only politician to do so, even though I’d written to many of them or phoned them. Ruby actually returned my ALL my calls and letters.

    Let’s hope and pray justice will be served and this little boy can come back to Canada with his parents soon.

    Annamarie

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