Wednesday, March 22, 2017
The Federal Court of Canada quashed the release of a refugee who amassed 95 criminal charges and 54 convictions. He had been released by the eImmgration Division based on the belief that his removal was not possible, mainly due to his lack of cooperation. It was argued that his detention had become indefinite. The Court certified a question of importance so the matter will be decided shortly by the Federal Court of Appeal. It is conceivable that the case may reach the Supreme Court of Canada for a decision on the question of indefinite detentions. The case highlights the insanity of Canadian refugee policy: an individual who is clearly a danger to society was, first, allowed to amass a mindboggling number of criminal convictions, and second, allowed to remain in Canada and even be released despite his collection of criminal convictions, because of his lack of cooperation and lack of prospect of removal, which conclusion the Court rejected. Note that permanent residents who have not been granted refugee status are routinely deported if convicted of any criminal offense for which they receive a six months prison sentence, or even for committing several minor offenses. From a policy standpoint, the message sent by these cases is that a refugee has a "free pass" to avoid deportation, while someone who was granted residency on his own merit can be easily deported. A bad policy and a bad message.