With them was her husband, a political refugee from Iran. Esfand and their eldest daughter fled the country as his dependents in 2006. She’s not accused of any crime.

Esfand’s mistake, it seems, was to visit her mother back in Iran.

The Coquitlam, B.C., woman is one of dozens of people who claim that after years of building lives in Canada, their future is threatened by a 2012 change to Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Act aimed at catching bogus refugees.

“They can’t take apart my family. We came as a family so we should be a family,” Esfand says.

“We’ve built 100 per cent of our lives here.”