Prospective immigrant placed on cash bond of $10,000
I am representing Gemma 56, and son Roy 21 (not real names) from the Caribbean who retained my firm to pursue a humanitarian and compassionate application from within Canada.
Gemma initially came to Canada in mid 2010 and her son later joined her. They were admitted as visitors to remain for a period of six months. Before Gemma’s status expired, she initiated a claim for refugee protection based on domestic abuse and added her son who was a minor, to her claim.
Their claim was heard and rejected in 2012, and an application for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment was denied in late 2013. They were both requested to leave Canada. However, they failed to do so.
In late 2018, Gemma consulted my office with respect to her option to remain permanently in Canada as she was under a removal order.
Gemma was advised that she can submit a humanitarian and compassionate application for herself and son, and although there were a number of compelling factors in their particular case, there was no guarantee she would be granted permanent residence. We explained to Gemma, that such discretions and exemptions granted is solely left to the Senior Immigration Officer who will be reviewing their application.
In late 2018, my daughter, Cindy Ramkissoon-Shears prepared a submission, outlining the reasons why Gemma and her son should be allowed to remain in Canada and granted certain exemptions, including substantial supporting documents. It was also noted, that Gemma may have an outstanding immigration warrant, as a result of her failure to comply with the removal order. She also pointed out the relevant hardships that would be faced by Gemma and Roy, given their particular circumstances, if they are required to leave and return to their home country.
On August 24, 2020, the writer received an email from the Vancouver Humanitarian Migration Unit, stating that the officer is assessing Gemma’s application. However, it come to their attention that our client was subject to an arrest warrant issued by CBSA. Before their office can decide on the application, it was requested that Gemma contact CBSA and deal with the outstanding warrant.
Our office contacted CBSA, after consulting with Gemma, informing them about the above and requesting an appointment for the purposes of executing the warrant. Gemma was given a copy of the letter and she was advised to keep same in her possession at all times.
However, on this very night, August 26, 2020, Gemma was detained by the police involving another party. Upon the police check, they discovered she had an outstanding immigration warrant and was handed over to CBSA. She told the police officers that she had a letter from Vancouver IRCC, requesting that she attend and execute the warrant. She further informed them that her counsel communicated with CBSA earlier that day, requesting an appointment. She provided the police officer with the said letter.
The law states that the release of a permanent resident or foreign national, before the first detention review by the Immigration Division, is granted, if the officer is of the opinion that reasons for the detention no longer exist. This Officer may impose any conditions, including the payment of a deposit or the posting of a guarantee for compliance with conditions.
On the very next day, a CBSA Officer imposed a very large cash bond of $10,000,00, with the knowledge that Vancouver instructed Gemma to execute the warrant before a final decision could be rendered. Fortunately, she had a remarkably close friend who immediately posted the bond and as a result she was released.
My concerns in this situation, are why would an officer demand such a huge cash bond when he knew a decision on her application was pending and efforts were being made to execute the warrant. What if Gemma did not have a reliable bondsperson that could not have raised this huge bond? While some types of bonds are necessary, this huge requirement was unreasonable and unnecessary. It is the writer’s view that Gemma should have been released on the posting of a guarantee for compliance, as the officer must have been aware of the pending decision of her application, upon execution of the warrant.
Once Gemma was released, we emailed Vancouver IRCC, informing them that the warrant was executed. We included the circumstances of her detainment and provided a copy of the order of release.
On September 2, 2020, my office received a positive Humanitarian and Compassionate decision stating that a Senior Immigration Officer approved their request for the purposes of processing their application for permanent residence from within Canada and they can apply for work permits.
This good news was met with screams of joy.
SUKHRAM RAMKISSOON is a member of ICCRC and specialises in immigration matters at No. 3089 Bathurst Street, Suite 219A, Toronto, Ontario. Phone 416 789 5756.