This appeared in the Toronto Sun. It is very disturbing and calls into question the integrity of the detention system.
Jail guards paid to marry deportees Toronto & GTA News Toronto Sun
Friday July 29
Jail guards paid to marry deportees
By Tom Godfrey ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Thursday, July 28, 2011 5:46:36 EDT PM
TORONTO - At least two female jail guards were allegedly paid to marry men awaiting deportation from Canada so they can return in a scheme being operated from a Toronto immigration detention centre, two former security officers allege.
Two guards, who are described as single moms, were allegedly paid $10,000 each to travel to Jamaica and the U.S. to marry deportees in a bid to sponsor them back to Canada, the former female officers with 10-years of experience at the centre said.
The women, who no longer work at Toronto Immigration Holding Centre on Rexdale Blvd., did not want to be identified claiming they fear repercussions from jail staff and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
CBSA spokesman Antonella Di Girolamo said guards at the centre are contracted out to a private firm, which refused comment.
“There is no merit to these unfounded allegations,” Di Girolamo said on Thursday.
The security guards are “subject to the government security screening process,” she said.
She said the security guards must disclose any possible conflict of interest situation.
“They (would) be re-assigned to another work area,” Di Girolamo said.
She said if marriage fraud is suspected, the case will be referred for investigation.
”Marriage for the purpose of immigration fraud is a prosecutable offense,” Di Girolamo said.
But one of the former guards said she told management officials at the centre of the “fraternization” between female officers and detainees last year but nothing was done.
The former guards said the marriages are believed to be arranged by “unscrupulous agents,” who wined and dined the female officers after finding out where they worked.
One wedding was conducted last October after an officer travelled to Jamaica to wed a deportee who was held at the centre — where plans were hatched — before he was turfed, the women said.
A second officer travelled to Jamaica last year to get married but her deportee hubby was detained in the U.S., one of the former guards said. She returned to Canada single but travelled to Jamaica last month in a second attempt to wed the detainee, she said.
“She told everyone that she went to the U.S. for a wedding,” one of the women said. “She didn’t say the wedding was hers.”
The names of the guards have been withheld since they have not been charged with any crimes.
The women also accuse female guards of fraternizing with male detainees and allegedly smuggling them banned items that were purchased outside the centre.
The centre houses more than 100 detainees, including families with children, who are awaiting deportation from Canada. Teachers attend the facility weekly to teach Canadian-born children awaiting deportation with their parents.