Judge overturns deportation of former child refugee
Published Monday, July 16, 2018 9:49AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 16, 2018 2:39PM EDT
A man who arrived in Canada as a child refugee has had a deportation order against him overturned for the second time.
Abdoul Abdi arrived in Canada in 2000 at the age of six, as a refugee. He had spent the first two years of his life in Saudi Arabia, then four more in a refugee camp in Djibouti. He was considered to be a refugee from Somalia, although he had never lived there, because his mother was from that country.
Abdi lived with his aunts and sister in Nova Scotia for a few months before being taken into provincial care. He was moved between 31 different foster homes, and never obtained Canadian citizenship or completed his education past Grade 6.
He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and assaulting a police officer in 2014. It was these offences that led to the government attempting to deport him. One deportation attempt was struck down by the Federal Court of Canada in 2016. A second attempt was halted on Friday.
Abdi’s lawyer, Benjamin Perryman, had argued that the deportation attempt violated both international law and Abdi’s rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The federal government’s position was that the deportation was a “routine decision” based on Abdi’s criminal history, and that charter objectives of integrating permanent residents and supporting refugees’ well-being were not germane to the case.
Federal Court Justice Ann Marie McDonald agreed with Perryman’s position, saying in her decision that the government “failed to properly consider” Abdi’s charter rights and gave a similar lack of thought to the implications of the deportation on Canada’s obligations under international law.
McDonald ordered a judicial review of Abdi’s case, meaning the deportation order has been set aside and a new deportation hearing will be scheduled.
The Court found that the government’s decision to refer Mr. Abdi to the Immigration Division for a deportation hearing was unreasonable because it failed to demonstrate justification, transparency and intelligibility.— Benjamin Perryman (@bnperryman) July 16, 2018
Perryman wants the government to skip the third deportation hearing and instead issue a warning letter, allowing Abdi to remain in Canada as long as he doesn’t run into new criminal issues.
He said his client has felt that the legal process has been “emotionally distressing and extremely stressful,” and is happy that McDonald’s decision will allow him to work on reintegrating into Canada.
“He said to me, ‘I’m tired of living life on this roller coaster and I’m ready to live life in peace,” Perryman told the Canadian Press.
With files from The Canadian Press