Celebrating Migrant Justice Victories

Posted by admin on Feb 14th, 2015

 Immigration program for parents ‘discriminatory,’ Federal Court of Appeal rules

An appeal court has found that the federal government discriminates against parents and grandparents by delaying their immigration processing. The Federal Court of Appeal ruling this week is a partial victory for Amir Attaran, a University of Ottawa law and medicine professor who applied in 2009 to sponsor his aging parents, both American citizens, to Canada under the family class immigration program.


Refugee claimant who sought sanctuary in a church for four years gets Canadian citizenship

Abdelkader Belaouni, a blind refugee claimant who spent almost four years in a Pointe-St-Charles church to avoid deportation, is now a Canadian citizen. On Jan. 1, 2006, he sought sanctuary in St. Gabriel’s Church, only emerging in October 2009 when the government granted him permanent-resident status. During his long confinement, supporters staged rallies and concerts, created a portable mural and filmed a documentary to publicize his plight. While at the church, Belaouni hosted radio broadcasts on McGill University’s CKUT, learned to play the piano, guitar and flute, recorded two albums and wrote two books — a memoir and a volume on Algerian history.


Former fugitive Douglas Gary Freeman back in Canada after years of legal turmoil

After years of legal turmoil, Douglas Gary Freeman is finally back in the arms of his family in Mississauga. Freeman returned home from the United States Wednesday night, more than a year after a judge ruled he was wrongly labeled a terrorist and unfairly linked to the now-defunct Black Panther Party. His homecoming marks another chapter in a 45-year saga that began when he was a teenager. Now a grandfather, his ordeal includes living decades as a fugitive, almost four years behind bars in Toronto’s Don Jail as he fought extradition to the U.S., and nearly seven years of fighting to return to Canada.


Niqab ban at citizenship ceremony struck down by court

The Federal Court of Canada has ruled it is “unlawful” for Ottawa to order new citizens to remove their face-covering veil when taking the oath of citizenship. While it is not unusual to have government policies overturned in breach of Charter and constitutional rights, the court ruling is unusual because the decision was based on the finding that the ban mandated by the immigration minister violated the government’s own immigration laws.


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