Canada Statement on the MV Sun Sea Migrants

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Canada Border Services Agency has completed the initial examinations of the migrants of the Sun Sea vessel and is now in a position to provide an update on the processing of these individuals. The CBSA can confirm that it has processed 492 migrants. Of that number, there are: 380 men, 63 women and 49 minors. It should be noted that the total number of adults and minors is subject to change as the CBSA must still confirm the identity and age of all migrants.

The CBSA also confirmed that all adult migrants have been detained for examination under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the necessary steps are being taken to address this situation. Accompanied minors will remain with their mothers in low-risk facilities and, wherever possible, will be accommodated together. In the best interest of the children, unaccompanied minors have been released to the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development. 

Working closely with our partners, the individuals have been transferred to appropriate accommodations and detention facilities on the Lower Mainland where the CBSA will be conducting more detailed examinations to determine admissibility. Due to safety and security reasons, we will not be releasing specifics as to the location of these individuals. The CBSA is exercising due diligence in the screening of all irregular migrants for both security and criminal threats. While CBSA would not speculate on possible outcomes, it confirmed that individuals will remain in detention pending the completion of a detention review by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). Such reviews are conducted on a case-by-case basis.

The IRB will commence detention review hearings today which will determine whether or not detention should be continued.

The CBSA is committed to working with its partners to maintain the integrity of Canada’s immigration system and will exercise due diligence in processing these individuals according to Canadian law. The safety and security of Canadians remains the CBSA’s priority.

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