Man with criminal convictions granted stay of deportation

Immigration Matters

Sukhram Ramkissoon

Man with criminal convictions granted stay of deportation

Many persons who have been issued with deportation orders tell me that the sad news that they have been asked to leave Canada leaves them “devastated.” Some say they experience a sense of hopelessness, failure, even shame.

“Mr. Ram, to think that I will not be able to make a new life for myself and my family in this land of opportunity…it’s like a death sentence,” one client told me recently.

However, for some who have been ordered deported, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Let us look at the case of James (not his real name), a young man who was convicted of several criminal offences and was ordered deported.

I recently represented James at his appeal hearing and requested a stay of the deportation order.

This (stay of the removal order) would  allow him to remain in Canada, if he met certain terms and conditions for a specific number of years, as ordered by the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD).  Once those terms and conditions are met, the removal order is quashed.

James came to Canada as a permanent resident about eleven years ago.. While in Canada he earned a high school diploma and attended college for two years  but had to drop out because he could not afford the tuition.

His criminal record  goes back to 2013 when he was convicted of (1) fraud over $5,000 and (2) use, trafficking or possession of forged documents. In this case, he permitted someone to deposit fraudulent cheques into his bank account.

He gave that person his bank card, PIN number, password and security questions. The fraudulent cheques were then made payable to James and deposited into his bank account.  He received $2,000 for his part in this scheme.

James was sentenced concurrently to a six month conditional sentence, 24 months probation and six months electronic monitoring and ordered to pay $13,600 in restitution within three years of his sentencing.

In 2014, he was back in  court charged with failing to comply with his probation order. He had not been paying restitution ordered by the court and was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay the outstanding amount of $10,200 in monthly installments of $100.00.  He has since been making the payments.

In January 2014, James again found himself in trouble with the law. This time he was convicted of assault with a weapon and was given a suspended sentence and two years probation.

At the appeal hearing, James declared that he was in a common-law relationship with a woman and that they had an infant son who was born in  Canada. James also said that his father, three brothers and three aunts were residing in Canada as citizens.

He testified that he recently spent several months in the hospital and in a rehabilitation centre for treatment of injuries he had sustained injuries in a shooting incident.  He said that he was in a wheelchair when he was discharged, and that  the bullet is still in his back and that he continues to have struggles eating and experiences flashbacks of the shooting.

He further testified that he was awarded compensation for the pain and suffering he has experienced and that he would not have the same standard of health care in his home country, which he receives in Canada.

James’ father, called as a witness at the hearing, made an emotional plea to the IAD member, stating that James’ life will be better in Canada than in his home country.

And in a letter of  support, James’ spouse said that she and James have been living together  for the past three years and that James plays  a fatherly role to her eight-year-old child.

After reviewing the evidence and documentation presented at the appeal, the panel concluded that there are favorable humanitarian considerations in James’ case. The panel noted the possibility of rehabilitation and his family support in Canada and also  considered the best interests of the children who are reliant on his presence in Canada.

James received a stay of the deportation order for three years.

Good luck, James.

SUKHRAM RAMKISSOON is a member of ICCRC and specializes in Immigration Matters at No. 3089 Bathurst Street, Suite 219A, Toronto, Ontario. Phone 416 789 5756.