(First published in 2004, almost nothing described here has changed in Canada's racist, lethal immigration system).
A few days shy of his birthday, a young man by the name of Jesus Christ has had his refugee claim rejected by Canada. Christ, locked up in a solitary confinement cell for many months, now faces deportation to torture.
In a related development, two people claiming to be Christ's parents, Joseph and Mary, had sought to obtain refugee status in Canada, but since they arrived in the U.S. first, they were told they could not come here under the new Safe Third Country agreement. Their deportation hearing is expected in the next few weeks somewhere in upstate New York.
Government lawyer Donald MacVishus hailed the deportation order against Christ as a major victory in the war against terrorism. "It is clear this man is a threat, that no one would honestly want him in our midst," he declared. "I think the court can take judicial notice of the fact that this man is not merely a simple coin flicker to beggars on the Jericho Road, but someone who wants to change our whole way of life! He is part of a worldwide conspiracy with connections throughout the Middle East to every known bearded terrorist!"
Christ, looking haggard in a prison orange jumpsuit, his long, wavy hair and flowing beard in a bedraggled state, last appeared in court earlier this week as his lawyers attempted to call forward for cross-examination certain pieces of secret evidence which have been used against him. The Federal Court judge insisted the law allows for such secrecy, and declared that Canadian national security would be compromised if the case against Christ were revealed. After washing his hands, the judge left the court.
Lawyers had asked for information about CSIS interviews with Christ, but because CSIS does not record interviews nor make verbatim notes, there was little to go on. "The Service noted that Christ appeared unusually calm when pressed about his possible association with prostitutes, beggars, and lepers," read a short half page of notes which were eventually declassified. "Christ also seemed hesitant when asked whether an individual named Joseph was his father, a sign that he was withholding the true nature of his character."
A last-minute appeal to Immigration Minister Judiss Sgrewyu on humanitarian and compassionate grounds was rejected with the declaration that "Canada must not become a haven for queue-jumpers and terrorists."
Originally detained for carrying reading materials written in ancient Hebrew which immigration officials found "suspect," Christ was also deemed to be a security threat because he allegedly uses a number of aliases, including Prince of Peace, Jesus of Nazareth, and the Son of God. He had travelled to Canada, like most refugees, on a false passport, because if he had used his real name on travel documents, Roman authorities may have picked him up before he could have fled the country.
Christ was also deemed inadmissable to Canada because of his criminal record; he, like all refugees coming to this country, are considered not worthy of being accepted even if those convictions have occurred in countries where there is no due process or internationally recognized legal system. Worse, refugees who have been convicted of minor offences which would be deemed "summary" (or lesser) offences if convicted here in Canada have their record interpreted as indictable (or more severe) upon their arrival here, regardless of the circumstances.
Christ had fled Palestine due to fears of persecution by Roman occupation authorities, who were concerned about his outspoken statements and actions on behalf of the poor and downtrodden of his country. Unfortunately, since Canada has no refugee appeals division (promised in the 2001 immigration act but still not realized), he has no real options. While his pre-removal risk assessment concluded that Christ was at substantial risk of torture or worse if deported back to Roman occupied lands, the immigration minister's delegate concluded that Christ could pose a danger to the Canadian public and economy.
"This is a man who fanatically and militantly talks about peace which, if it broke out, could cost thousands of military manufacturing jobs and the loss of possible star wars contracts," the immigration report notes. "Under C-36, our anti-terrorism act, Christ's language and subsequent peacemaking actions are both clearly seen as a terrorist threat. Section 27 (3h) marks as a terrorist anyone who 'Interferes with the design, development or production of any weapon or defence equipment of, or intended for, the Canadian Forces, including any hardware, software or system that is part of or associated with any such weapon or defence equipment.'"
The report also noted Christ has spoken extensively about equitable distribution of wealth and against individual and corporate greed, again marking him as a terrorist in the eyes of Canadian law (Section 27 (3j) of C-36 names as a terrorist anyone who "adversely affects the stability of the Canadian economy, the financial system or any financial market without reasonable or financial justification.")
In another mark against Christ, the minister's delegate points out one particular incident in which the refugee applicant was "particularly violent, overturning a table used by moneychangers in a temple frequented by Canadian money speculators." Canada's criminal code notes as well a terrorist is anyone who "damages property outside of Canada because a person or entity with an interest in the property or occupying the property has a relationship with Canada or a province or is doing business with or on behalf of the Government of Canada or a province."
"Therefore," the immigration report concludes, "we determine that the threat which Christ poses to Canada is greater than the risk to him if deported."
Human rights groups have criticized the occupation Roman Empire for ongoing torture, racial and religious profiling, crucifixions, and a general climate of repression in the Holy Land. They have also noted that Christ's life would be in grave danger if deported.
Canada, which claims not to deport individuals to torture, is nonetheless prepared to deport Christ just as they are doing in the cases of Mohammad Mahjoub and Mahmoud Jaballah (both Egyptian refugees), whom the government's own pre-removal risk assessment found to be at substantial risk of being detained, tortured or worse if deported. Refugees and long-time secret trial detainees Hassan Almrei, Mohamed Harkat and Adil Charkaoui face similar fates if deported to Syria, Algeria and Morocco, respectively.
In a related development, critics of Canadian policies are also concerned about a border alert which has been issued to U.S. Homeland Security and Canadian Border Services Agency outposts looking for a bearded man in a red suit who may be expected to arrive in this country later this week.
The individual, a noted Red, or Communist, is, according to the bulletin, "NOT a U.S. or Canadian citizen, carries no passport, goes under a number of aliases including Jolly Old Saint Nick and Kris Kringle, carries suspicious looking sacks and avoids customs, has attended a non-registered flight school with respect to flying unauthorized aircraft that often include the use of animals, wears religious headgear, travels without reservations, has a big beard, and visits Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, and other suspect countries every year. The man is also known to promote dangerous notions of social equality. If this suspect individual is seen, please alert the CIA, RCMP and CSIS immediately, and do not be lulled into a false sense of security by the individual's seemingly laid back demeanour."
Generals at the Canadian-based NORAD early warning system, upgraded earlier this year to become more in tune with U.S. space weaponization plans, announced they are fully prepared to launch kill vehicles if necessary to stop this threat.
More information on these issues can be found by contacting Toronto Action for Social Change, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.homesnotbombs.ca