Canada Immigration Case-law Canada, Aguirre, IMMIGRATION — Refugee status — Procedure by Joy Stephen, Polinsys

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IMMIGRATION — Refugee status — Procedure — Designated representative — Refugee claimants AR and JR were mother and daughter who were citizens of Mexico — AR was member of volleyball team that was attacked by gang members around 1997 or 1998 — AR could not afford to pay gang members to avoid future harm so she went to United States in 2001 — AR entered into common law relationship with spouse who was also from Mexico — JR had been living with grandparents but joined mother in United States in 2006 — AR, JR, and spouse came to Canada in 2007 and commenced claims for refugee protection — AR had second daughter in 2008 — Spouse returned to Mexico after AR made allegations of domestic abuse — In 2010, AR married husband who was Canadian citizen — Soon after, AR suffered debilitating stroke and was in coma — Designated representative was appointed pursuant to s. 167(2) of Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Can.) — While AR was still in coma, Immigration and Refugee Board determined refugee claimants were neither Convention refugees nor persons in need of protection — Refugee claimants brought application for judicial review — Application dismissed — Board’s decision was neither procedurally unfair nor unreasonable — Board recognized refugee claimants’ circumstances and endeavoured to ensure they had full opportunity to gather additional evidence and participate through their designated representative — Designated representative had been invited to make additional written submissions on state protection and had provided brief submissions — Board had concluded it could proceed with participation of designated representative and evidence on record and had not fettered its discretion by acting pursuant to board directive as alleged — Board considered all evidence and concluded refugee claimants had not established well-founded fear of persecution from either gang or spouse — Board was of view that, upon return to Mexico, AR would be placed in medical facility and JR would be placed with child care organization, both of which would provide or engage adequate state protection in Mexico — This was reasonable approach given that AR’s prognosis was that she would require long-term care — Refugee claimants’ unfortunate circumstances could be raised in other applications

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