Somali refugee, arrived in Canada at age 10, faces deportation


HALIFAX – Refugee rights activists have issued a last-minute appeal for a man in Edmonton threatened with deportation to Somalia because of his criminal record. They argue that the case of this former refugee child is similar to that of a man from Nova Scotia who was finally allowed to stay in Canada.

Supporters of 34-year-old Abdilahi Elmi recalled that he fled Somalia when he was 10 years old and was subsequently placed in foster care in Ontario. Activist El Jones of Halifax argued on Tuesday that the Ontario government had failed to complete the documents that would have allowed Elmi to obtain permanent resident status while he was in state care. .

Mr. Elmi now has a long criminal record, which includes charges of assault. For this reason, the Canada Border Services Agency decided on June 26 that it should be deported to Kismayo, Somalia, by the end of August.

Jones argues, however, that the federal government should reconsider this issue, which is similar to that of Abdoul Abdi, another Somali refugee child. In July 2018, Mr. Abdi was allowed to stay in Canada when a Federal Court judge in Halifax overturned the decision to refer his case to an eviction hearing.

As for Mr Elmi, his supporters maintain that he should also be given a reprieve because he risks "certain death" in Somalia, where he has no parents and does not understand the language. He arrived in Canada in 1994 at the age of 10 and was granted refugee status. He was placed in foster care at the age of 13. But at 16, he lived on the street. Suffering from addiction problems, he was in trouble with the law.

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