Portnoy: Humanitarian and Compassionate claim rejection

Posted by admin on Aug 16th, 2006

Immigration rejection like a ‘killing,’ Portnoy says, CBC News

 Federal immigration authorities have rejected the humanitarian appeal of an Israeli family that had been campaigning to stay in a small Newfoundland town. “I can’t call it a decision. [It’s] a kind of killing,” said an emotional Angela Portnoy, who has been living in sanctuary with her four children in the basement of a Roman Catholic church in Marystown on Newfoundland’s south coast.

Angela Portnoy says she has no intention of leaving Canada: ‘This is better than my country. I’m safe and warm.’ A terse letter from immigration officials offered no explanation for the decision, which arrived by mail just four days after Portnoy gave birth to her fifth child.

Portnoy told CBC News on Wednesday that she has no intention of leaving Canada.

“This is better than where I come from. This is better than my country. I’m safe and warm,” she said.

Her husband, Alexi Portnoy, was deported in January, weeks after he was caught outside the church on a suspected speeding violation. He is currently living in Mexico.

The Portnoys have been facing an order to leave Canada since 2004.

The Canada Border Services Agency had granted a reprieve to Angela Portnoy this spring, so that she could seek prenatal care and deliver her baby without fear of being arrested.

Having delivered her child, a boy, by emergency caesarean section, Portnoy was told this week that authorities will be flexible as she recovers from her surgery.

Three of the Portnoys’ five children were born in Canada.

The Portnoys entered Canada illegally in 1996 and were deported in 2000. They entered Canada illegally again in 2001 and settled in Marystown.

Although the family exhausted its legal options, they earned overwhelming support from friends and co-workers.

The humanitarian application was filed by Halifax lawyer Lee Cohen, one of the country’s leading immigration lawyers.

The Portnoys, who are of Russian ethnic origin, do not want to live in Israel, in part because they do want their children to face mandatory military service.

As well, Alexi Portnoy was convicted years ago in Israel of driving a stolen truck. He has said he would not feel safe in Israel.

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