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(en) Canada, ACTION ALERT: Toronto family forced into desperate New Year countdown

From ocap@masses.tao.ca
Date Sat, 25 Dec 2004 08:06:47 +0100 (CET)


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TAKE ACTION! STOP DEPORTATION! TAKE ACTION! STOP DEPORTATION
Family forced into desperate New Year Countdown:
Sgro to deport father of four to Somalia after 15 years in Canada
DETAILS BELOW ON HOW YOU CAN HELP
Taking advantage of closed courts and limited scheduling, Immigration Canada
is attempting to slip past counsel and supporters of Mohamed Ahmed Yakub over
the holidays. On January 11th, 2005, Immigration will try to rip Mohamed from
his wife and four sons, to deport him to a dangerous and uncertain fate in Somalia. It will be the third attempt in recent weeks
to send him back to a country he has not seen since he and his family fled
the civil war in 1989.

Immigration is trying to remove Mohamed from his life and community of the
past 15 years here in Toronto, despite a pending Federal Court review of a
decision stating that Mohamed faces no risk upon return to Somalia and a
pending Humanitarian and Compassionate/Sponsorship Application which has
not yet been considered.

Mohamed is married with four sons, the youngest of whom, Canadian-born
Fahd, is only 9 years old. Mohamed’s wife and his three eldest sons
have all long since been granted refugee status and are Canadian citizens.
If deported, Mohamed is at great risk, as he does not identify with his
clan membership in a society where such affinity is critical to survival.
His lack of any family or community ties leaves him vulnerable to
inter-clan violence. Mohamed would also be forced to leave his sons
without the only father they have ever known and his wife to raise their
children
completely on her own.

Mr. Tabit, Director of Midaynta, a Somali agency in Toronto, has implored
the Minister to allow Mohamed to remain in Canada with his family, stating
that it would “avoid another mother-led family to struggle with four
teenage boys in a society that has made this an on-going burden to many of
our families” and would be consistent with the Minister’s
commitment to family reunification.

Mohamed is facing deportation to a country still so unstable and
poverty-stricken that the Canadian government is currently considering
reimposing a Moratorium on deportations to Somalia, which had previously
been in effect. “The part of Somalia where I came from is an
independent republic, and the government of this republic has not been
part of the peace talks. In the north, where I am from, there is very
high levels of violence still, the refugee camps are terrible and I have
no where to live or anyone that I know, “ says Mohamed.

Immigration Canada’s first attempt to deport Mohamed took place
during the recent strike of PSAC employees, meaning Jeff Rafique - the
Expulsions Officer responsible for Mohamed’s deportation - was
available to make arrangements to tear Mohamed from his family, but not to
respond to OCAP and Mohamed’s lawyer’s requests for a stay of
deportation. The Officer’s reply was conveniently sent so close to
Mohamed’s removal date that the only option was to seek an emergency
stay at Federal Court. Now Rafique has made a similar move, scheduling
the deportation for one day after the Federal Court reopens in the New
Year.

Initially, Mohamed’s deportation was to land him in Mogadishu,
Somalia. Countless international bodies, from the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees to the UK Home Office, explicitly “warn
against” deporting Somali nationals to parts of the country where
they do not come from. Mogadishu is in the south of Somalia, and the
dominant clan is the Hawiye clan. Mohamed, however, comes from Burao,
Somaliland, which is in the north, and is a member of the Issaq clan.
When issuing the deportation notice, the Enforcement Officer provided no
proof of travel documents to Mohamed. Somali citizens have long been
unable to obtain passports, and it is well-documented by Amnesty
International that returning refugees who lack proof of identity face
great risk, given the widespread frequency of clashes between warring
clans in Somalia.

The deportation itinerary issued by Immigration Canada was also extremely
questionable. Significant documentation exists to suggest airline charter
companies flying into Somalia from the UAE, such as the flight Mohamed was
scheduled to take, use unsafe aircraft and are commonly run by the very
same warlords who preside over the conflict within Somalia. The American,
British and Canadian governments have of late attempted to sidestep the
dire warnings of international human rights organizations against
returning refugees to Somalia by flying people into neighbouring countries
and dumping refugees without documentation or protection. Officer Jeff
Rafique of the Greater Toronto Enforcement Centre, Immigration’s
local deportation hub, intends to put Mohamed on such a flight, followed
by a bus route which the Officer hastily scribbled by hand onto
Mohamed’s removal order.

Amina Sherazee, Mohamed’s counsel, has requested a stay of
deportation until Mohamed’s pending applications can be heard. She
is currently awaiting a response from Officer Rafique and will be forced
to go to Federal Court if he denies her request. The Officer and the
Minister of Immigration both have the power to intervene and ensure that
Mohamed’s future is thoroughly considered, as well as the rights of
his four children, before any decision to deport him is made.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Please act now and keep it up over the holidays to stop the pending
deportation of Mohamed Ahmed Yakub and the devastation of this family of
five.

CALL/FAX THE FOLLOWING OFFICALS AT CITIZENSHIP & IMMIGRATION CANADA:

--< Jeff Rafique, Mohamed&#8217;&#8217;s Explusions Officer:
(905) 405-3599 (phone)
(905) 405-3533 (fax)

--< Judy Sgro, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada:
In Toronto,(416) 744-1882 (tel)
(416) 952-1696 (fax)
In Ottawa, (613) 992-7744 (tel)
(613) 947-8319 (fax)

WHEN YOU CALL/FAX, DEMAND THE FOLLOWING:

1) That Mohamed Ahmed Yakub&#8217;s deportation scheduled for January
11th, 2005 be stayed.
2) That Mohamed&#8217;s application for landing on Humanitarian and
Compassionate Grounds be examined and that he be granted permanent
resident status in Canada.

Srgo and Immigration Canada's deportation officials may not spend their
holidays without understanding the consequences of their actions. Help us
support Mohamed and his family. Call/fax today and keep it up in the days
leading up to New Year's Eve.

---------------------------------------------------------------------- For
more information, contact:
Amina Sherazee, Downtown Legal Services, 416.934.4561
Stefanie Gude, OCAP, at 416.925.6939


**
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6
416-925-6939 ocap@tao.ca www.ocap.ca
**

============================================
* [Ed. Note: OCAP is antiauthoritarian anticapitalist
direct action social struggle initiative.]
Note: NEFAC members are invovled in OCAP (the source of this appeal) and
immigration defense work is one of NEFAC's prioritized areas of work in
the class struggle. please call the deportation officer / minister as well
as circulate this urgent appeal. _


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