Syrian young male coming from the USA wants to stay in Canada
Teenager arrived at Peace Bridge in Fort Erie, Ont., was then arrested and placed in isolation in Toronto
By Maureen Brosnahan, CBC News Posted: Feb 16, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 16, 2016 1:52 PM ET
But his lawyers say the boy is an unaccompanied minor and should be allowed into Canada to claim refugee status.
Aviva Basman of the Refugee Law Office in Toronto called it “outrageous” that Mohammed (we are using a pseudonym for safety reasons) was not only denied entry but was detained in isolation for three weeks at an immigration holding centre in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rexdale.
“Everyone who’s involved in Mohammed’s case has found the way CBSA treated him quite shocking,” she told CBC News. “We’re talking about a 16-year-old Syrian boy who’s just trying to find protection.”
Mohammed has since been released from the centre and is being housed at Romero House, a Toronto shelter for refugees.
Family felt Canada a safe place
He met with a CBC reporter and, in broken English, described his time in isolation.
“I want to stay here. I want to go to school. I no have anyone in the United States,” he said.
“Canada government bring many people from Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, Turkey, but I am coming here, and they don’t accept me.”
Hannah Deloughery, an intern at Romero House, has been working with Mohammed since he arrived there.
“He’s very scared and confused and doesn’t really understand why this happened,” said Deloughery. “He’s alone in Canada and needs our protection.”