A senior immigration officer’s decision to deny permanent residency to a failed asylum seeker because of his links to a resistance movement in El Salvador did not take into account “exceptionally strong” humanitarian and compassionate reasons to let him stay, a federal judge has ruled in a case that activists say highlights how Canada’s laws can too easily peg someone as a security threat
Jose Figueroa, who came to Canada as a refugee in 1997, was once a member of Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nacional (FMLN) that opposed El Salvador’s former military regime. He helped recruit for the FMLN and organized meetings but was not involved in the armed struggle.
In a decision last year, Karine Roy-Tremblay, director of case determination for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, rejected Figueroa’s application to be allowed to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds after he had been deemed inadmissible to the country on security grounds.
While acknowledging that he had not taken part in any violent campaigns with the FMLN, Roy-Tremblay said Figueroa was “not just a sympathizer to the causes.” She deemed him to have been a member of an organization that engaged in terrorism, and, therefore, a security risk.
But in a ruling posted online Monday, Richard Mosley, a federal judge, said the immigration officer’s decision was unreasonable “as it failed to take into account the nature of the conflict and Mr. Figueroa’s personal role as a non-combatant political advocate” and ordered that a different immigration officer review the application.
Joseph Morin, Kemptville EMC
The Maharaj family was deported from Canada last week despite national media coverage. In this photo Motilal and Vashti are interviewed. Motilal is holding Messiah while Navin stands beside his grandmother Vashti.
EMC News – On the eve of Canada Day, the Maharaj family members, who had been living in Kemptville for the past four years, were told by the government that they are not welcome here.
On Friday, June 29 the family was escorted to the Ottawa Airport where they waited for their flight to Trinidad. Mrs. Maharaj was allowed to stay for a few days until her passport arrived and her son Ricky and his son, two year old-Navin stayed behind.
Crooked Chilean officials selling travel documents, Refugee Board says
TORONTO - A Cuban refugee claimant who arrived in Canada with travel documents purchased from Chilean diplomats involved in a visa-selling ring in Havana has had claim tossed out.
The man, who lives in Toronto, has not been identified by an Immigration and
Refugee Board because he claims to be fleeing persecution.
“Corrupt officers in the Chilean embassy in Cuba were selling visas” to people wishing to leave Cuba for Chile, a member of the Refugee Protection Division said in a decision last month.
“The (Chilean) authorities started searching for Cuban citizens who got into (Chile) using illegal visas.”
A number of Cubans who travelled to Chile with the bogus documents were caught. As a result, they were barred from obtaining jobs, official identification and medical assistance.
“The claimant was afraid this would happen to him so he applied for a
Canadian visitor’s visa,” the board member said.
When he arrived at Pearson, the man filed a claim for refugee status and became eligible for welfare, some medical and other benefits.
The board member did not disclose how much the man paid for the document, how many were sold to Cubans to travel abroad or if any Chilean diplomats were arrested due to the scandal.
The man can still appeal the board’s decision to deny his refugee claim.
A Cuban woman who has lived in Ottawa for the last two years and started a family is fighting to stay in Canada after her refugee claim was rejected last month.
Maria Matos Ruiz is from Cuba but has Spanish citizenship because her former husband was from Spain. She said it was an abusive relationship, prompting her to flee Spain for Canada.
But Canadian immigration officials denied her refugee claim, and said since Spain was a democratic country she was in no danger and should live there. The Cuban government has also said it won’t allow Matos Ruiz to return to live in the country she left behind.
“I’m very depressed, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know where to go,” said Matos Ruiz.
Since moving to Ottawa, she has had a child with her common-law husband, Ismael Perez, who supports his family as an OC Transpo bus driver. They have a seven-month-old daughter, Michelle, born in Ottawa. Both Perez and the child are Canadian citizens.
A Toronto man is facing charges after an alleged kidnapping and sexual assault.
Police say that around 1:42 a.m. on Sunday, a 21-year-old woman was in the in the Leslie Street and Eglinton Avenue area when she was taken by a man and driven to a home in the Bloor Street West and Lansdowne Avenue area. Police say she was sexually assaulted.
Rafael Silva, 24, of Toronto, has been arrested and charged with kidnapping, forcible confinement, and sexual assault.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, May 7 at 10 a.m. at Old City Hall.
On Saturday, April 14, 2012, at 10:10 p.m., police responded to a call for a stabbing at 1651
Victoria Park Avenue.
Police located a man suffering trauma to the body.
He was taken to hospital where he later died.
At this time, police are not releasing the identity of the victim.
On Sunday, April 15, 2012, Dennis Aquino, 40, of Toronto, was arrested and charged with:
1) Second Degree Murder
He was scheduled to appear in court at 1911 Eglinton Avenue East, on Monday, April 16,
2012, room 412, at 10 a.m.