'Not our jurisdiction': Deported woman's complaint of CBSA's 'excessive force' won't be heard
The Canadian Human Rights Commission will not hear the case of a deported woman who is accusing Canada Border officials of abusing her before she was shipped out of the country.
The complaint stems from the arrest and deportation of Lucy Francineth Granados earlier this year.
Granados applied for refugee status in Canada in 2009 and was rejected, but she continued to stay in Montreal for years with her mother and children.
In 2017 she applied for permanent resident status but was refused and in March she was arrested by Canadian Border Service Agency officers.
Complaint of excessive force
At the time, Granados and her supporters from Solidarity without Borders complained the officers who arrested her used excessive force, pushing her to the floor when she reached for a telephone.
Less than a week later she was taken to hospital when she collapsed at a hearing where her impending deportation was confirmed, and was finally sent out of Canada on April 12.
William Van Driel of Solidarity Without Borders said Granados told him of her injuries during her arrest.
"Four of them, one 40-year-old woman. One of them decides to push her down against the table, throw her to the floor, to twist her arm until she hears a crack. Bleeding from her nose after her face slams to the ground," said Van Driel.
Granados and her supporters say that crack was caused by damage to a vertebra.
Granados said she met with doctors in Guatemala soon after her arrival, and that she still had injuries to her neck, arm, and hand at that point.
Not Human Rights Commission's jurisdiction
A complaint was filed with the Human Rights Commission about Granados's treatment, but the board has ruled it does not have jurisdiction in this case.
Solidarity Without Borders now wants to know what legal rights undocumented migrants have if the Human Rights Commission is not willing to take legal action.
It is asking the federal government to provide clarity on the matter.
"The implications of that are actually very serious. If someone is here as an undocumented migrant, that essentially anyone can do whatever to them and if they’re not considered to have the same rights… what does that say about how we as a society consider their humanity?" said Van Driel.
They are now appealing to the United Nations.
CSBA denies wrongdoing
The Canadian Borders Services Agency denies any wrongdoing in Granados's case, saying "the information is not consistent with that of the CBSA."
In an email, spokesperson Stephane Malepart said, "The CBSA is committed to nurturing a culture that is founded on the values and ethics of the Public Service of Canada and the CBSA, and in which all employees conduct themselves in a way that upholds the integrity of CBSA programs and demonstrates professionalism in their day to day activities."
"CBSA officers are expected to behave in a professional manner that is consistent with the Public Sector Code of Values and Ethics and the CBSA Code of Conduct," he added.