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Paola Ortiz deportation: A Canadian disgrace

Despite public outcry, officials turn blind eye to danger mother of two faces from abusive ex in Mexico

by Isabel Macdonald

Paola Ortiz and her Canadian-born children, aged 2 and 4
Paola Ortiz and her Canadian-born children, aged 2 and 4

On Friday, Sept. 23, Canada deported Paola Ortiz, the mom of two Canadian citizen kids, aged 2 and 4, to Mexico, a country she fled in 2006 to escape sexual abuse and domestic violence at the hands of her then-financé, a federal Mexican police officer.

Since last week, Paola’s case has gathered widespread support, particularly across Quebec, where she had been granted residency. More than 25 groups answered a call from immigrant rights group Solidarity Across Borders (SAB), and joined forces in calling on federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Public Security Minister Vic Toews to intervene to stop the deportation of the Montreal mom. The Fédération des femmes du Québec (FFQ) issued a statement pointing out that it was “totally delusional” to think Paola “would be protected by the Mexican police authorities once she is returned to Mexico.” The deportation was also denounced publicly by Québec Solidaire and by a near-unanimous vote by the Parti Québecois (the official opposition party in the Quebec parliament), with the péquiste spokesperson on immigration opposing the deportation as inhumane. The immigration critic also denounced the ruling Quebec Liberal’s silence on the issue and urged the provincial government to “intervene energetically” on the issue.

In the federal House of Commons, the Bloc Québécois called for federal intervention and the Member of Parliament representing Paola’s riding in Pointe St. Charles, Montreal, the NDP’s Tyrone Benston, also joined more than 200 of Paola’s neighbours and community members in calling on Kenney to stop the deportation.

Quebec’s former immigration minister, André Boulerice, publicly denounced the silence of the Quebec Liberals, as well as the role of the Harper administration (an “espèce de Tea Party,” as he called the federal authorities responsible for allowing the deportation to go forward).

In the context of this fast-growing opposition to Paola’s expulsion, it seemed possible to hope that sanity might prevail in Canadian immigration, and the Montreal mom be allowed to stay. Particularly given that less than two years ago, a Mexican woman who’d been refused asylum and deported by Canada was murdered by the assailants she’d tried to escape in her efforts to flee to Canada. And on Sept. 22, a family that had sought asylum but been rejected by Canada returned to the country, after their deportation was overturned, drawing attention to the fact that decisions in refugee cases can be flawed.

Paola was originally slated to be deported on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Following orders from Canadian immigration authorities, she presented herself at Trudeau airport, with her luggage. But her deportation was narrowly averted when airport medical staff intervened. Diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in the wake of the domestic violence she survived, Paola suddenly began shaking, and had difficulty breathing as she waited for Canadian Boarder Services Agency (CBSA) agents to march her onto a Mexico-bound plane. She was hospitalized later that morning, but Canadian authorities instructed her to present herself to Immigration Canada to receive a new deportation date.

On Wednesday morning, Paola’s friends and supporters gathered outside the towering grey building at 1010 Rue St. Antoine West that houses the Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices in downtown Montreal, in a show of support as she presented herself to the immigration authorities.

“There’s no guarantee she’ll come out,” a cop patrolling the demonstration on the sidewalk outside told Paola’s supporters, explaining that this was what Immigration security personnel had told the Montreal police. Paola had recently been incarcerated for a week in an immigrant detention centre in Laval, so it was conceivable that immigration authorities would simply throw her back into a cell at the immigrant jail to await her deportation.

When Paola stepped out of the federal building around noon, her supporters breathed a collective sigh of relief. Until they learned that Canada had ordered her deported in less than 48 hours.

On the night of Thursday, September 22, a vigil was held blocks from the federal immigration offices. Dozens of Paola’s friends and supporters turned out for the all-night event, which was organized by Dignidad Migrante. Attendees included the former immigration minister André Boulerice, as well as the péquiste immigration spokesperson Yves-François Blanchet.

In the centre of the gathering, a sign, lit up by a ring of candles that also formed a heart, proclaimed “Basta de deportaciones” (Stop Deportations!).

The following morning at 5:30 am, several of the supporters who’d kept the vigil, as well as a handful of the journalists who’d been doggedly following Paola’s story, congregated in front of the grey building on Rue St. Antoine.

Canada’s unsuccessful earlier efforts to deport Paola had become a major news story in the Montreal media, with TV, radio and print journalists turning up at Trudeau airport along with Paola’s friends and supporters. This time, though, Paola was to be deported in secret. She had been ordered to appear on Friday not at the airport, where she would again be able to be with her friends, family and supporters, and speak to media, but at the immigration offices at 1010 Rue St. Antoine. A journalist familiar with deportation proceedings predicted that the authorities would transport her directly to an RCMP security gate at Trudeau airport, keeping her out of any public spaces in the airport where she would have access to media.

At 6 am on September 23, two white men wearing white uniforms appeared at the glass doors of the office building at 1010 St. Antoine. Her friends asked if someone could accompany her for support. Without even looking up, the men in uniform brusquely refused. “No,” one of them said firmly, as the glass doors slammed shut behind Paola.

Half a dozen local journalists, along with her friends and supporters, were left to stare at the closed glass doors from the sidewalk, as Paola was whisked into the bowels of the grey building.

She had had to leave behind her two young children--one of whom is autistic, and the other of whom has hearing difficulties. She worried about her kids’ safety (as well as her own) in Mexico, and also wanted the youngsters to continue receiving the special medical services they depend on in Canada, which would not be accessible to them in her home country.

“What did she tell her kids?” one journalist asked, several minutes after Paola disappeared with the men in uniform.

But the question might be better directed at Canada.

How on earth will we explain to those two young Canadian kids why our government has robbed them of their mother?

Follow Isabel Macdonald on twitter at @IsabelMacdo

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Isabel (Isabel Macdonald)
Montreal and Beyond
Member since September 2011


1085 words


I am Mexican Too


I apologize to all the Canadians for this lady, she is saying that my country is dangerous and that she can be killed any time, she is using this image so wrong about the the country that i love, I live here in Canada applying since Mexico, my goal here is to put my country in proud, showing Canada that there are Mexicans that can do more that just asking for a false refuge, I have known here a lot of Mexicans that tell me that they lied to the system to get free money, and sorry to say but is almost all of them that invented something.

I saw the news, my god, what a lady, so shame on her, so bad that many people see Mexicans now like baggers, we are not.

What a scene no??, my god, an Oscar she deserves, GG!!, looks that she planned everything, 5 years here and she already has 2 kids and one 4 year old, so 9 months of pregnancy, almost 5 , MG she seems to have done it on purpose, she knew that she would be rejected, what a plan!!.

Sorry Canada, this country that I love for having this image of us, just remember that there are some others that we really would like you to see us like a country of a spirit of progress and do the things well, as a professionals.


Listen, I came here as a

Listen, I came here as a refugee, but can not come to a country and wait to have everything given to you for free, this woman ( i know her personally) never did enything and she lied , she lied to the media, she came here with her husband and both made diffrent claims he got refused and left around 3 years ago.

This people leave depreesed and are on welfare, I have a sick child ( heat disease) and still yet i work 42 hrs a week.

This people are way too good for People like her to come and take advantage of the system and the people.



Mexicans blaming Mexicans, I am proud of the Mexicans like you guys, that speak badly and judge other Mexicans, and  don’t know what is really happening in your own country and why the people need to immigrate out of their own country. I invite you to read newspapers an reach other media in order to have real information about the thousands of   people that have been killed in just 5 years, the lack of jobs, the poverty rising and the political system corrupted up to the roots, if you want links where you can find all the information about these facts, feel free to ask for them.                          

In general, Immigration is not something that people really want to pursue (I know that myself and I know many immigrants as well) you loose your family, your food, your culture, and friends. Why do you want to abandon your own homeland if you have a nice job, good education for your kids, a good reliable health system and you can communicate in your mother tongue language GG?

I am not to apologize for been Mexican, as you do, I am proud of been Mexican, and yes, many people immigrate because they do not have in their own country the life all human beings deserve.

Systemic violence against womans and Poala's situation

For who are you working people who are commenting so bad about Paola ?

When I was doing doing research to answer to your comments, I had found this document made by Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

I let you read this big part of the beginning of this document

''Mexico: Domestic violence and other issues related to the status of women


According to Country Reports 2001, violence against women is “both widespread and 
vastly underreported” (2002, Sect. 5). Sources state that domestic abuse occurs in one of every 
three homes in Mexico (Country Reports 2001 2002, Sect. 5; CIMAC 6 June 2002; La Jornada
29 May 2002). According to UNICEF México, in Mexico as a whole, four in 10 women report 
acts of spousal violence committed against them, and only three of those commence legal 
proceedings (2001). Men are the perpetrators in 90 per cent of family violence cases
Jornada 29 May 2002).  
According to the chairperson of the Committee on Equality and Gender of the Federal 
District Legislative Assembly, the incidence of violence against women in the Federal District is 
the same as for Mexico as a whole, which means that it occurs in one in every three households 
(ibid. 29 Apr. 2002). In 2001, Federal District authorities dealt with 16,000 cases of domestic 
violence (ibid. 2 Mar. 2002), and according to statistics compiled by the Justice Attorney 
General's Office of the Federal District (Procuraduría General de Justicia del Distrito Federal), 
48 per cent of homicides committed in 2001 were attributed to domestic violence (ibid. 29 Apr. 
2002). Of the 9,132 people in the Federal District who used the services of specialized family 
violence units (Unidades de Atención a la Violencia Familiar) in 2001, 96 per cent were women 
or girls (ibid.). For more information on these units, see Response to Information Request 
MEX40336.E of 11 October 2002. 
It is noteworthy that only 12 per cent of judicial police officers in the Federal District are 
women (La Jornada 1 Oct. 2002). The Research Directorate was unable to find, within time 
constraints, statistics regarding the number of women employed in other Mexican police forces''


You can read also this part
''However, CIMAC notes that under the legislation of several states, family violence is not 
considered to be a criminal offence (CIMAC 19 Nov. 2002). According to this organization, 
those states are Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Yucatán, Nayarit, Durango, 
Hidalgo, Campeche and Puebla (ibid.).''
Also this one
''Similarly, many Mexicans believe that racism, sexism and 
even violence against women are part of the social fabric; in fact, such issues are even joked 
about (AP 22 Mar. 2002).''
For those who will say that document is old : other documents more recent are saying the same things
Also about Mexico, people are talking about a feminicide.  
We all know also how much violence is existing also on cops families and how is difficult to face the cops who are offenders 
This document was made about Domestic Violence in Police families in the USA, but the same thing and sometimes worst exists in a lot of other countries.
That's the beggining of an answer. We can say so much longer about that. 
Patriarchy and police violence inside their famillies and outside are big problems everywhere that we have to fight against. In the case of Poala in Mexico, the link between police and family violence looks very evident. 


Image stolen from Montreal Gazett

The image that accompanies this article was stolen from the Montreal Gazett. I expect better from the Co Op.

Answer back.


Do you want to know for who I am working for??

Good, here I go:  I work for my family, for me and for the progress of the community.

Do I know how Mexicans live in Mexico?: I was born in Mexico!!!, I grew there, studied there and always working while studying to pay for them  (as well as most Canadians that search for progress do).

This Lady Paola?, In Mexico we know a lot of people like this, they want everything for free, but there because of the economy, it is not easy to get it, here it is easier , only you need to say that you are a refugee and you receive free money.

I arrived here and was not recognized as a professional, I worked cleaning, and declaring taxes, never, but never asking for something for free.

After a while of not stopping, I found a professional job.

Why I emigrated?, because I love challenges, that is my nature, never because of the security problems in Mexico, listen,  for that, we really need to touch delicate things that I do not see the sense here, like yea!, in Mexico there is violence but because of rich countries consuming drugs . And the criminals are killing each other to be the ones to distribute drugs in fists world countries.

But that is another story, So good that you researched in media, never trust media 100% (the media is susceptible to miss informed because they are easy to be lied (like the story this woman invented), listen, with the same dedication you invested in researching, research this:

Paola:, did she worked here legally?, did she declared taxes, for how long?, was she on welfare?, her story is real?

There is people here that knows her and are telling you that she is a liar, she even came with her couple, (the supposed heat her), research that. I invite you, go to her home ask the neighbors, talk to her bosses (if she ever had one) , there you will find the true.

This is not general; we are debating about this particular case. I respect the real cases of persecution (unfortunately les than 5% of the cases)

Mexicans attaching Mexicans?,,  Yea, when they are lying about my country and to yours too (by taking advantage), they are letting down the people that died for my country to give us a free and beautiful country.

Problems in Mexico?, Many as other countries .. if not? Go to the hospital here and wait 8 hours to be received. Or go the Bronx at midnight in USA or East LA, or go to Paris, Spain. Problems, yeeeaaaaa.

Research, real research. (example: what helped The Canadian government to say that she was lying?, have you read their report?.... there you have.

Now, your comments sound so so so squared, so horizontals, so black and white, listen, because people not accepting that there is another person thinking different, that does not means they are wrong, RESPECT TO OTRHERS OPPINIONS that is what you need, and real RESEACH too, Open your mind, just remember that when a binary thinking person gets to the power, things like some countries are living happens, do not be closed mind, not because I do not agree with you that mean I am working for someone, do not see ghosts.


Sorry if I do not answer back again if you do, but I do not see the sense of changing words  with someone so binary thinking, I just may would thing that you are the one that is looking for something about this ( a family of this woman or you work for someone), but for now my final opinion is ,

 Good for the Canadian Government, in this case they did the right thing; I support Canada in this decision.

Dear anonymous, Todos los

Dear anonymous,

Todos los seres humanos mienten un día u otro... ¿tú no has dicho nunca una mentira? ¿No dirías una mentira por ayudar a tu hijo?

Que pena inmensa que tu hijo tenga problemas de calor, según dices: ''I have a sick child ( heat  disease)'' ; ¿te has preguntado si puede ser hereditario? tu escrito me hace pensar que tú tienes problemas de falta de calor en el corazón... no es una ofensa, sólo un comentario.

Pobre Paola, lamento que el gobierno de Canada la separe de sus hijos... y tú, anonymous... ¿no lo lamentas por los niños? Si conoces tan bien a la madre supongo que conoces a esos pequeños y crees que es correcto para ellos estar separados de su madre y por ello felicitas al gobierno canadiense... o tal vez, talvez hay detalles que se nos escapan y no hemos previsto...

Y cuando dices: ''we really would like you to see us like a country of a spirit of progress and do the things well, as a professionals.'' Que inmensa pena, querida aninymous, no puedo ver progreso en la falta de amor al prójimo y no creo que sea correcto ver a alguien con tanto orgullo de llamarse profesional y con tan poca caridad para juzgar a uno de sus compatriotas. Me alegraría mucho más ver Mexico como un país de gran espíritu solidario y preocupado de sus niños.

Lo bueno es que si lo veo como un gran país, con profesionales orgullosos y con razón; pero también lo veo como un país que se hará cada día mejor, más solidario y más protector de los pequeños... sin importar una mentirilla... o dos.

Te deseo lo mejor y a Paola y a los hijos de ambas.

Desconocida y a veces, mentirosa.

I just love when people come

I just love when people come from Mexico, swear they want to be American, then force the Spanish language and the Mexican flag onto the Americans who have lived in the area for generations.

I have seen my American town of Cicero, Illinois ruined by these invaders. Since it is located 1400 miles from the Mexican border, illegal immigrants must break many laws to get here.

They have stuck the American people will the bill of $185,000 per child to educate their children whom they really shouldn't be having in the first place.

Mexico has a population of less than 2% of the world's population. Latin America population is around 8% that of the world's population. These people scream at how racist Americans are yet the United States is around 16% Latino. I see that as twice the amount that should be in the US yet these people force their way in and demand to be treated like an endangered species.

Since Mexico quadrupled its own population in the last 55 years, I really don't see how the United States or Canada is responsible for Latin Americans and their lack of control over responsible child bearing.

Many Americans have found that having Mexico on its border is like being "shackled to a corpse". The violence inherent in some of these people will never be removed by relocating to a first world country. It is better to cut Latin America off completely until they learn to behave themselves!

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