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OTTAWA - Around 60 Mexicans marched on Canada's parliament on Tuesday to request amnesty for thousands of failed asylum seekers whose lives they say would be at risk if they are deported to Mexico.
"We want Ottawa to let us stay," said Alejandro Gomez, who fled violence tied to narcotics trafficking in Mexico and claimed refugee status in Canada.
"I came to Canada because I thought it was more welcoming than other countries. I created a life for myself here, but my refugee claim was rejected in March," he told AFP.
According to organizers of the protest, nearly 21,000 Mexicans have been ordered deported from Canada since a crackdown on bogus refugee claims and the imposition of visa restrictions on Mexican visitors in July 2009.
At least one woman was reportedly beaten to death in April, weeks after her claim was rejected and she was deported to Mexico.
Mexico was the number one source country for refugee claims in Canada, tripling since 2005 to 9,400 claims just prior to the government crackdown, or 25 percent of the total received. Of those, only 11 percent were accepted.