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August 23, 2010
The safety and security of Canadians remains a priority for the Government of Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The CBSA is exercising due diligence in the screening of all irregular migrants for both security and criminal threats. The adult migrants have been transferred to appropriate accommodation and detention facilities on the Lower Mainland where the CBSA is conducting more detailed examinations to determine admissibility.
Minors are not in detention; 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 and are being cared for in a safe and secure facility.
The MV Sun Sea migrants have the right to an interpreter, to be represented by counsel, to know why they are being detained (if detained), and to advise their embassy or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees of their detention.
Legal aid is available to the detainees. Migrants may choose their own counsel and they have an opportunity to meet with counsel prior to their detention review.
The adults have access to phones for outgoing calls as well as mail services. They will be able to add names to their approved list of visitors. Individuals added to an approved list of visitors will be able to make arrangements with B.C. Corrections for visits.
If you believe you had a relative onboard the MV Sun Sea, please contact the Canadian Red Cross at 1-888-893-1300.