Stop the Deportation of Abdoul Abdi
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Abdoulkader Abdi is awaiting deportation proceedings to Somalia because Nova Scotia's Department of Community Services failed to make an application for citizenship on his behalf.
Abdoulkader Abdi came to Canada at the age of 6, with his sister and two aunts, as jointly-sponsored refugees who fled Somalia. Shortly after arriving, Abdoul and his sister were apprehended by the Department of Community Services (“DCS”), which is responsible for child protection in Nova Scotia. He became a permanent ward of the state at age nine 9. In the first 8 years that Abdoul was in care, he was housed in twenty 20 different placements. The longest placement was a three 3 year period with a foster family who he considered abusive. He was also homeless for a period of time.
When Abdoul became a permanent ward of the state, his family lost the legal authority to apply for citizenship on his behalf. His aunts became Canadian citizens. Abdoul and his sister did not. DCS did not make a citizenship application for either child. The Deputy Minister of DCS recently advised that DCS has no policies for children in its care who are non-citizens. DCS does not anticipate fixing this “policy gap” until March 2019.
As a teenager, Abdoul began having conflict with the law. This is a phenomenon called crossover that affects children in care more frequently than others. At the age of 20, Abdoul pled guilty to aggravated assault and other charges. He was sentenced to 4.5 years in jail. As a result, he was deemed criminally inadmissible to Canada.
The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness is actively seeking to strip Abdoul of his Permanent Residence so that he can be deported to either Somalia or Saudi Arabia. Abdoul has never lived in Somalia and only lived in Saudi Arabia until he was 2. Abdoul would be at significant risk in both countries. He has no family connections in either country, does not speak the language, and does not know the local culture. Deportation would also separate Abdoul from his entire family, who are all in Canada—his Canadian-born daughter, his niece, his sister, and his two aunts.
The Federal Court recently overturned the Minister’s decision to refer Abdoul to the Immigration Division for an admissibility hearing—a process that will automatically result in loss of status with no right of appeal.
The Minister could issue a warning letter to Abdoul, but instead continues to seek deportation, even though this would violate Canada’s international human rights obligations.
- Acknowledge that Canada has an international human rights obligation to provide “special protection” for non-citizen children in care;
- Ensure that all non-citizen children who are permanently in care are provided Canadian citizenship;
- Acknowledge that Canada has an international human rights obligation not to deport long-term permanent residents who came to Canada as young children and were denied citizenship by the inaction of children’s services and Canada; and
- Halt the deportation of all former children in care who were denied the protections of citizenship and became inadmissible to Canada.
Stopping the practice of double punishment - where non-citizens face deportation as a second punishment after they have completed their criminal sentence.
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