Grenadian gets second chance at residence

By Sukhram Ramkissoon

A Grenadian woman was recently successful in Federal Court in having her application for judicial review allowed by setting aside a negative decision by an immigration officer for permanent residence from within Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

I will refer to the applicant as Karen.

She is an adult female citizen of Grenada who came to Canada in 1998 with her (now ex) husband and son. Their claim for refugee protection was rejected in 2003 and her Pre-Removal Risk Assessment was refused in 2008.

Her ex-husband was deported to Grenada and she fears for her safety at his hands were she to be deported to Grenada.

Karen gave birth to a son in Canada in 2010. The child suffers from seizures and has speech problems.  She worked only briefly since the birth of her son and has been convicted of several criminal offences in Canada including theft, fraud and forgery.

The issue before the court was: Did the officer give sufficient or any consideration to the fact that Karen would be returned to Grenada without having family there and would be exposed to a potentially violent ex-husband.

There was evidence in the record before the officer as to this issue which was well summarized in the submission by her counsel:

“In her affidavit, Karen describes the abuse she underwent with her ex-husband. She states:

‘He was abusive and violent and injured me more than once. I never mentioned this during my refugee claim because he and I were in the same refugee claim. He would mistreat me in front of my older son.

‘Once I had to wear a brace on my neck for two weeks because of his violence. He cheated on me a lot and ended up having domestic violence or abuse-related charges in regards to two different women in Canada. He was also verbally abusive and rough towards our son.

‘My ex-husband has expressed that he is angry at me. He blames me for getting deported from Canada. He thinks that because I got to stay in Canada longer than him that I said something to cause his deportation. He threatened me over the phone to the point that I had to change my phone number twice, the last time being in 2011. If sent back to Grenada, I would be afraid of him and his family.’

“As a single mother who has no family connections left in the country who has not lived in Grenada for years and thus has no community support that can protect her, she can easily fall victim to her ex-husband’s abusive anger.

“The aforementioned IRB report also states that ‘the country is very small and perpetrators are likely to find their victims should they decide to relocate on the island’.”

The judge in granting judicial review stated the reasons of the officer do not specifically refer to this submission or evidence. The reasons refer to “violence” if Karen were to return to Grenada and to support services there for “victims of domestic assault.

The officer wrote, “I do not find the applicant has linked this evidence with her own personal circumstances to demonstrate any degree of hardship in returning to Grenada.”

This is wrong and clearly indicates the officer overlooked the issue of violence at the hands of the ex-husband, ruled the judge, who returned the matter for redetermination by a different officer.

Good luck.

Sukhram Ramkissoon is a member of ICCRC and specializes in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Suite 219A, Toronto. Phone 416-789-5856.

Sukhram Ramkissoon
Sukhram Ramkissoon