Questions asked to the Government on October 19, 2011, about a mexican gay couple threatened of deportation

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP): Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism does not intervene by tomorrow, two young homosexual men, David Perez and Pablo Gonzalez, will be deported to Mexico. The two fear for their safety if they return to Mexico, but the Canada Border Services Agency has refused to delay their removal pending an appeal on humanitarian grounds.

Will the minister intervene and stop this forced removal until the appeal is heard?

Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC): Mr. Speaker, we have a very fair asylum system, but it is a legal system, not a political system. It is up to the courts, to the quasi-judicial bodies such as the Immigration and Refugee Board, and to the Federal Court, to decide whether or not people are refugees who need Canada's protection. It is totally inappropriate for members of Parliament or even ministers to reverse the legal decisions of our just, legal system.

Ms. Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet (Hochelaga, NDP): Mr. Speaker, we know that when they return to Mexico, these two men and their family members will again be subjected to threats, violence and persecution.

Before coming to Canada, they were attacked many times by the authorities that should have been protecting them. Mr. Perez and Mr. Gonzalez have legitimate reasons to fear for their lives if they leave Canada.

What steps is this government taking to ensure that violence against these men and other members of Mexico's homosexual community is taken seriously?

Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, CPC): Mr. Speaker, this Parliament created the Immigration and Refugee Board to examine asylum claims on the basis of evidence and the criteria permitted by our laws. It is up to the board to decide if a person is being persecuted or if the personal safety of that person is threatened. It is up to the Federal Court to review those decisions. There is even a pre-removal risk assessment. If the appeal is denied, another appeal to the Federal Court is possible. That means that we have a fair and just system for all asylum seekers.