Ex-child refugee faces deportation to native Somalia after life of crime in Canada
Once again the bleeding hearts come out in defense of the indefensible. Once he was a child, but now he is a grown man, and a dangerous criminal. Still, Andrew Duffy from the Ottawa Citizen describes him as an “ex-child”
OTTAWA â€” An Ottawa man, who came to Canada from Somalia as a child refugee and went on to a life of crime, faces deportation to a strife-torn homeland that he hasn’t seen since the age of eight.
Abadir Ali, 26, has been declared a danger to the Canadian public by federal immigration officials.
That designation was upheld as lawful in a recent Federal Court decision.
In that ruling, Judge Leonard Mandamin said immigration officials arrived at a reasonable conclusion in finding that Ali’s risk to the Canadian public outweighed the personal risk he faces in Somalia.
Ali, now held at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, has been fighting his deportation for more than two years.
His lawyer, Felix Weekes, said Ali can’t speak the native language in Somalia, has no relatives in the country and no familiarity with its culture.
“They’re getting ready to send this kid back to a country he doesn’t know anything about,” Weekes said in an interview Monday.
Ottawa’s Somali community has expressed concern about the case through a petition presented to Citizenship and Immigration Canada. More than 200 people signed the petition, which said that sending Ali back to Somalia amounted to a death sentence.
The petition asks the government to suspend Ali’s deportation until conditions in Somalia have improved. (that won’t happen)
Born in southern Somalia, Abadir Ali came to Canada in 1991 with his stepmother. They were granted refugee status one year later, and he became a permanent resident in May 1993.
Ali suffered a troubled youth, (standard shyster dog food) court documents show, and began to accumulate a criminal record at the age of 19. He was convicted of assault causing bodily harm and obstructing a police officer in 2002. Another obstruction conviction followed in 2004.
Court documents show immigration officials warned Ali in November, 2006 that he could be deported unless he stopped his criminal activity and began to lead a more productive life.
Ali, however, was arrested less than a year later by Ottawa police for aggravated assault. He had severely beaten a young woman who was left with permanent injuries. He was sentenced for the crime in January 2008.
Federal immigration officials then began the process of deporting him.
Ottawa’s Abdiwahid Osman Haji, a Somali-trained lawyer who has lobbied on behalf of Ali, said the young man deserves (?) a chance to rehabilitate himself in Canada since none of his crimes were so serious as to draw a federal prison term. What’s more, he said, Ali has expressed remorse for the offences, which were committed under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Haji said it would be cruel and unusual punishment to return Ali to a part of Somalia where he’s sure to be persecuted for his tribal affiliations â€” he is the product of an inter-clan marriage â€” and his western sensibilities.
In Somalia, Islamic extremist groups, al Shabbab and Hizbul Islam, are fighting federal government forces centred in Mogadishu.
“They will notice right away that he’s a foreigner,” Haji argued. “They’ll consider him a spy, the terrorists, or they’ll recruit him because he speaks English.”
It’s hard to imagine, he added, how Ali could survive with little money and no contacts in Somalia. “The only country he knows is Canada,” Haji said.
A recent United Nations report on Somalia describes the country as a failed state, which “remains one of the most insecure places in the world, with an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.” But the same report notes that two regions in the country, Somaliland and Puntland, “appear to be relatively calm” and are host to refugees and asylum-seekers.
Federal officials initially planned to return Ali to the Somali capital, Mogadishu, but the Canada Border Services Agency later proposed a different set of travel arrangements that would take him on a charter flight from Nairobi, Kenya to Bosaso, a port city in the Puntland region. Canadian officials planned to take Ali as far as Nairobi, and then turn him over to private security personnel for the flight to Somalia.
In his recent ruling, Judge Mandamin ordered the government to re-assess the risk of returning Ali to Somalia using the revised travel arrangements. But the judge stressed that “this relates to risk arriving from travel and it does not include a new risk assessment concerning refoulment to Somalia.”
It means Ali’s deportation will likely be delayed for several months as the new, relatively narrow risk assessment is completed and reviewed.