Abdoul Abdi came to Canada as a refugee when he was six years old and is now facing deportation to Somalia, a country he has never lived in. Why?
Nova Scotian university student Amina Abawajy created a petition that now has over 2,500 signatures to raise awareness about Abdi’s plight. She states:
“Abdoulkader Abdi came to Canada at the age of 6, with his sister and two aunts, as jointly-sponsored refugees who fled Somalia. Shortly after arriving, Abdoul and his sister were apprehended by the Department of Community Services (“DCS”), which is responsible for child protection in Nova Scotia. He became a permanent ward of the state at age nine 9. In the first 8 years that Abdoul was in care, he was housed in twenty 20 different placements. The longest placement was a three 3 year period with a foster family who he considered abusive. He was also homeless for a period of time.
When Abdoul became a permanent ward of the state, his family lost the legal authority to apply for citizenship on his behalf. His aunts became Canadian citizens. Abdoul and his sister did not. DCS did not make a citizenship application for either child. The Deputy Minister of DCS recently advised that DCS has no policies for children in its care who are non-citizens. DCS does not anticipate fixing this “policy gap” until March 2019.
As a teenager, Abdoul began having conflict with the law. This is a phenomenon called crossover that affects children in care more frequently than others. At the age of 20, Abdoul pled guilty to aggravated assault and other charges. He was sentenced to 4.5 years in jail. As a result, he was deemed criminally inadmissible to Canada.
The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness is actively seeking to strip Abdoul of his Permanent Residence so that he can be deported to either Somalia or Saudi Arabia. Abdoul has never lived in Somalia and only lived in Saudi Arabia until he was 2. Abdoul would be at significant risk in both countries. He has no family connections in either country, does not speak the language, and does not know the local culture. Deportation would also separate Abdoul from his entire family, who are all in Canada—his Canadian-born daughter, his niece, his sister, and his two aunts.”
On February 23rd, Abdoul Abdi’s request to “press pause” on this deportation proceedings while he pursues a constitutional challenge was rejected. His hearing will take place on March 7th.
As the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada cannot hear about the reasons why Abdi did not get citizenship or consider human rights law, he could very likely be deported.
Currently Abdi is living in a halfway house in Toronto and recently hired to be part of a research project that examines youth who have contact with both the child-welfare system and the criminal justice system.
Should the deportation order proceed, he could lose the right to work and receive healthcare in Canada.
But, the Federal Government could still pause the deportation hearing.
Community members supporting Abdi are strongly encouraging to reach out to Minister Ralph Goodale, Minister Ahmed Hussen, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to urge them to stop the deportation of Abdoul Abdi.