[Stop-traffic] News/Canada: Judge raps feds over migrants

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/Canada: Judge raps feds over migrants
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu Oct 19 2000 - 10:43:33 EDT

Judge raps feds over migrants
By Sam Pazzano
London Free Press, July 28, 2000

A Superior Court judge chastised federal immigration authorities for
detaining a dozen Chinese teens in bleak living conditions for six months
while awaiting their detention hearings.

Justice Sandra Chapnik said the teens, mostly females, were suffering from
health problems, including weight loss, dizziness, fainting and anxiety,
while being deprived of medical attention by a doctor who speaks their

The teens were seized in in the Chatham area in December and January and
have since been housed in Windsor or a Toronto hotel.

A mother and her adult son were charged with aiding and abetting the teens
to contravene Canada's Immigration Act after OPP pulled over the van the
son was allegedly driving in January. Ten Chinese girls, age 14 to 18, were
found hiding in the van, evidence of a growing smuggling ring in
Southwestern Ontario. It's believed the girls may have been targeted for

They are supposedly all from China's Fujian province -- the area from which
nearly 600 Chinese migrants arrived last year in four decrepit cargo ships.

Chapnik said the teens have suffered in detention. "From time to time,
judges are faced with situations that cry out for comment . . . . this is
one of those times," she wrote.

By any standard, six months detention for an immigration matter is
considered lengthy, she said.

Initially, the teens have been denied basic necessities such as toothpaste,
soap and had difficult obtaining sanitary napkins.
Melanie Orhant
Stop-Traffic Moderator

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