Metro Vancouver Transit police end controversial agreement with CBSA

Metro Vancouver Transit police end controversial agreement with CBSA
Decision follows suicide of undocumented migrant Lucia Vega Jimenez

By Tamara Baluja, CBC News Posted: Feb 20, 2015 8:01 PM PT Last Updated: Feb 21, 2015 1:36 PM PT

Metro Vancouver Transit Police will end its controversial agreement with Canada Border Services Agency after undocumented migrant Lucia Vega Jimenez hung herself in 2013.

Previously, transit police would hold an undocumented migrant who the CBSA was interested in, if they found one evading fare.

As of next week, transit police spokesperson Anne Drennan said it will continue to make arrests on outstanding warrants, but “police will who encounter undocumented migrants during the course of fare enforcement activities will leave any follow-up action to federal authorities.”

The decision comes after the transit police met with a group called Transportation Not Deportation” that has been outspoken since Jimenez’s suicide.

She was arrested after being caught riding transit without paying and she later hanged herself while awaiting deportation to Mexico.

Drennan said the transit police decided to change its policy after Jimenez’s “tragic suicide brought things to a head.”

‘We were doing more and more research into this since that time, and even though there were no recommendations after the coroners inquest for transit police, we decided it was time to take this step,” she told CBC News.

Drennan added that work is under way to determine what counts as an acceptable range of ID on fare enforcement inquiries.

CBSA did not immediately respond to CBC.

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