Please Mr Prime Minister…

Please Mr Prime Minister

That is a letter from a nine-year-old Canadian boy named Kevin, who is being held without bail and without charges in the T. Don Hutto Family Detention Center in central Texas.

The Globe and Mail has the report (via Fark):

…“My biggest wish is to go to Canada and be free, to go to my school, go for my books,” Kevin said, his father’s voice audible in the background.

“I want to be safe with me and my parents, and see my teachers and my friends again…”

Majid and Masomeh — they prefer their last name not be used — initially fled Iran for Canada in January, 1995, to seek political asylum. Majid did odd jobs, eventually becoming manager of an east Toronto pizza parlour, paying the rent for their one-bedroom apartment.

In 1997, their only son, Kevin, was born. “For the first time, I was happy,” Majid said from the Hutto detention facility.

“I had my family with me — it’s the only family I have — we didn’t have any problems and we lived happy in Toronto.”

That changed when their refugee claim was denied, after ten years in Canada; deported back to Iran, Majid was beaten, tortured and imprisoned (which you’d think would make convincing enough evidence that, in Iran, he’d be subject to beatings, torture and imprisonment, but that’s another matter entirely…moving on…). Escaping again through the help of people smugglers, the family was on their way back to Toronto bearing false Greek passports when a fellow passenger suffered a heart attack and the plane was forced to land in Puerto Rico.

Because Greek passport-bearers need a visa to enter the US, the family was shipped off to imprisonment in Texas. Even had the passports been legitimate, this would have been their fate, according to US officials, although really one has to wonder if they’ve detained many blond, blue-eyed people lacking the proper visas…

Next time you get on a plane, make sure to amuse yourself and your fellow passengers by giving out free ECG tests in the waiting area. Don’t take chances.

More of Kevin‘s letters are in this Globe and Mail slideshow.

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2 thoughts on “Please Mr Prime Minister…

  1. “although really one has to wonder if they’ve detained many blond, blue-eyed people lacking the proper visas…”

    When I left Canada for England 17 years ago to live with my then boyfriend I ended up on a Toronto-London flight that was about 80% filled with Indian (from India) passengers. And when we arrived at Heathrow we all had to go through passport control. There I was with my luggage trolley piled so high I could barely see over the rather large portable stereo perched on top. So you know, I wasn’t exactly looking like your typical tourist. But when they asked me if I had anything to declare and I smiled and said ‘Nope!’ they just waved me through … down a long aisle with tables on either side upon which most of my erstwhile fellow passengers had their suitcases opened, with all the contents being thoroughly searched.

    I mean, sure it was great not to have to get all my stuff rifled through, but I was actually quite appalled that this very blatant show of racism. Just to say that if you look ‘white enough’ then probably lots of rules get bent in your favour.

    Meanwhile, I doubt anybody in Winnipeg would ever mistake me for ‘white’.

  2. That’s right: I grew up in Winnipeg and we were taught, in all seriousness, that people from the Mediterranean were not white. Greeks, Italians, Spaniards, they were something undefined, but not white. Thankfully it’s not that much of a negative in Canada not to be white, or so my black friends tell me.

    In Manila I, because I was white, was allowed to wander past security and customs and back again without anyone checking my ticket or passport. I literally walked AROUND the metal detectors. The security just said “Hi ma’am.”

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