On Wednesday, in several cities across Canadian, protesters called on the Federal Government to remove Mexico from their ‘Safe List’ of countries.
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Many protesters are refugees who sought asylum in Canada from abuse or other human rights violations they claim was received in Mexico, they point to the recent 43 missing students as proof that Mexico isn’t safe.
One protester says that people like him facing abuse in Mexico have a less chance of seeking asylum in Canada because of the new ‘Safe List’ status given to Mexico and 42 other countries.
Under the law, refugees from ‘Safe List’ countries have fewer options for applying for asylum and fewer appeals, but face faster deportation than countries not on the list.
Canada’s Immigration spokesman, Remi Lariviere, said the government placed Mexico on the list last year “because it was determined to be a country that respects human rights, offers state protection, and has mechanisms for redress if rights are infringed upon”.
The spokesman said all refugees still receive the benefit of a full hearing at the independent Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
The number of refugee applicants from Mexico has declined dramatically since the Canadian Government began requiring travel visas in 2009. Last year there were 114 refugee claims from Mexico, compared to 9,313 in 2009.