In January, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that those fleeing “persecution, terror & war, Canada will welcome you regardless of faith,” but a recent report indicated that his country has been deporting North Korean asylum seekers.
Al Jazeera reported Sunday that since 2013, Canada has kicked out nearly 2,000 North Korean asylum seekers. These immigrants—who reportedly lied on their application forms—call the deportation notice a death warrant.
“That notice means death to me.” Taegun Kim, who arrived in Canada with his wife and two children 11 years ago, told the news outlet. “I came all the way here for a better life and my family is well adjusted to life in Canada. To think we’re going to be separated, it breaks my heart.”
The report said a lawyer has met with officials in the country to appeal to the Minister of Immigration to allow these immigrants stay on compassionate grounds. There has, so far, been no reply.
Global News reported in November that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada sent out 150 letters to North Koreans in the country. The letter reportedly explained that the government had concerns about their applications.
Global News, citing the 2016 census, reported that there are about 970 North Koreans in Canada, half arrived before 1980.
The report pointed out that, if deported, these immigrants would not be sent to South Korea. These refugees told Al Jazeera that living in South Korea would not be safe for them due to North Korean spies.
The Global News reported that, based on other cases, these North Koreans have little chance of being granted asylum because they could obtain a South Korean citizenship.
Trudeau has talked about the success of Canada’s refugee policy. He reacted to President Trump’s ban on Muslims from select countries by welcoming those fleeing percussion.