Call to Action to Stop Deportation of
No to Deportations!
On Monday, March 15, Solidarity Across Borders reported that: "One
month after becoming the first of several detainees to test positive
for COVID-19, "Marlon", (pseudonym chosen to protect his identity), a
migrant held at the Laval Immigration Detention Centre, is facing
imminent deportation to his country of origin. Marlon has yet to
receive a negative COVID-19 test result and is still exhibiting
symptoms such as fatigue and difficulty breathing. Despite this, the
Canadian government is proceeding with his deportation on unusually
short notice -- he was informed late on Thursday, March 11 that he
would be deported on Tuesday, March 16." As of March 17 he had not been
deported but the threat remains. Solidarity Across Borders has
announced a "Free Them All!" Rally, to free all detainees at the Laval
Centre, March 20, 11:00 am with details to be made available here.
The organization reports that "Marlon contracted COVID-19 in the
Laval Immigration Detention Centre, testing positive on February 15. He
immediately began a hunger strike to denounce the detention conditions
for migrants, which are conducive to spreading the virus among
detainees and personnel. Social distancing is often impossible and
guards and employees come and go from the centre, rotating on a daily
basis. As a strategy to curb the spread of the virus, the Canada Border
Services Agency (CBSA) placed detainees in conditions of solitary
confinement, a practice that has been denounced as a form of torture.
In response, a group of seven detainees staged a courageous five-day
hunger strike to demand their immediate release."
Should Marlon's deportation proceed, "he will be separated from his
wife and child in Montreal, who are currently seeking refugee status
after fleeing from violence in their country of origin."
More on Marlon's Situation
Tanya Rowell Katzemba, a Solidarity Across Borders spokesperson, informed the newspaper Le Devoir that
"[a]ll legal channels have been exhausted. We're angered upon learning
about the CBSA's intention of moving forward with his expulsion with
only a few days notice. We were thinking about requesting another
hearing, but then all of a sudden we got the news. We don't understand
what the urgency is."
same media source spoke with Marlon by phone. He confirmed with them
that he continues to have COVID-19 symptoms and that he is awaiting the
results of a test taken on March 15. He also told them, "I still get
frequent headaches, my eyes hurt and I have difficulty breathing,
especially when I'm sleeping." He also reported that he
has not "been given any medication, nor have any of the others who have
been infected, we were just placed in isolation for 14 days under
"We want Canada to respect its commitments towards the population of
keeping everyone healthy and safe. Within the present context of the
pandemic, it's appalling that people who fled their country because of
violence continue to be deported, it's completely inhumane," Tanya
Rowell Katzemba told Le Devoir, adding: "They're going to put
Marlon on a plane with other people, even if he still has COVID-19
symptoms, which runs counter to public health recommendations."
Marlon, his wife and child arrived in Canada without any
legal identification, having fled their country of origin in November
of 2019. Marlon told the media that he had been threatened and some of
his family members had been killed, "so we decided to flee the
country, hoping to begin a new life in Canada."
Solidarity Across Borders is calling on everyone to:
"Put pressure on Bill Blair and all government officials to demand
the immediate release of Marlon and a halt to his deportation, as well
as the release of all detainees! You can direct phone calls and e-mails
"1) Federal Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair
2) Your member of Parliament, find their contact information here.
"Share the call to action widely! Use the hashtag set #FreeThemAll
#StatusForAll along with #HungerStrikeLaval to show your support for
the struggle on social media! We encourage you to tag Bill Blair, Marco
Mendicino, Justin Trudeau, and other government officials."
This article was published in
Number 18 - March 17, 2021
: No to Deportations!