An update from the campaign against José Figueroa’s deportation from Canada…
FIRST 2016 UPDATE!
PROCESS OF FINALIZATION OF LANDING:
It is nearly three months since our family tasted our newly gained freedom!! We have been quite silent ever since. However, that silence had an objective: First, we needed to digest the unexpected news that finally after over two years we were going to be reunited as family again. Second we needed some time to adapt to our new reality. And third, we needed to think about the next steps in our struggle.
Prior to December 23, 2015 (the date I walked out of the church), the opinion held by the CIC, CBSA, and CSIS bureaucracy dealing with my file was that I should be deported from Canada due to my past membership with the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). But on December 16, 2015, that bureaucracy received a different direction: the humanitarian and compassionate factors were strong enough to allow the granting of Ministerial exemption.
As a family, we are very thankful that the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship stood up to stop the injustice being committed against our family and granted a ministerial exemption – an exemption that is very rarely granted. As a matter of fact, this is the very first time that somebody who was in sanctuary and under a deportation order under section 34(1) of IRPA has ever been granted this ministerial exemption.
On the first days of January 2016, CIC sent a letter requesting the compliance of certain requirements to finalize the processing of landing into Canada. Copies of my valid passport were sent immediately and arrangements for medical exams were made with a designated medical practitioner. There were issues with access to the forms to request work permits and temporary resident permit and for the payment of the right of landing fee. However, those issues were overcome–the application forms were sent to CPC Vegreville AB. At this point, the decisions that need to be made are in the hands of CIC Officers assessing the finalization of the landing process. It is worth noting that prior to the Minister’s decision–during some negotiation with the CBSA for the cancellation of the arrest warrant–there was a commitment by CIC to expedite the issuance of a work permit.
At this time, the landing status has not been finalized while the work permit and temporary resident permit have not yet been sent. Meanwhile, my job with my previous employer is still waiting, but I cannot legally get back to work until CIC sends an approval of the work permit or the landing is finalized.
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE FEDERAL COURT OF CANADA:
During the time I was in sanctuary I commenced several legal processes before the Federal Court. The Federal Court has to make decisions with respect to those processes. Among the legal processes that were commenced as Judicial Reviews are:
1. The Judicial Review of the implied refusal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to issue a certificate stating that I am not a listed person (a terrorist). This Judicial Review was filed on February 2, 2015. Mr. Justice Fothergill, made a final decision on December 3, 2015, and I submitted a motion for reconsideration on December 14, 2015. At this point, counsels for the Respondent had until March 7, 2016, to reply to the motion for reconsideration. Mr. Justice Fothergill ordered me to pay the Court $2734.53 or otherwise the motion would be summarily disposed of. On February 24, 2016, that amount was paid to the Court and the Respondent had 10 days to provide a response to the Motion for reconsideration.
2. On March 13, 2015, I submitted a judicial review of the decision of CSIS Officer to refuse to make corrections of personal information under the control of CSIS. The Attorney General of Canada submitted a motion to dismiss the application; the judicial review however, is at this point stayed pending the result of an investigation by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. CSIS and I have been making submissions with the Privacy Commissioner and at this point we are waiting for the investigation results.
3. On June 12, 2015, I filed a judicial review of the refusal of the Minister of Public Safety to issue a certificate stating that I am not a listed entity. This followed a number of motions I put forward attempting to compel the Minister to provide a) certified tribunal records, b) responses to cross examination questions, as well as c) requests for extension of time file motions for reconsideration and even an appeal before the Federal Court of Appeals. At this point, this proceeding is also stayed pending disposition of the Appeal before the Federal Court of Appeals.
4. On October 1, 2015, I submitted a notice of application for judicial review of the decision of the CBSA Officer who wrote the s. 44(1) report to the Minister alleging that I am inadmissible due to my membership with the FMLN. Eventually, the Attorney General of Canada submitted a motion to strike the notice of application. The notice of application however, which could not be set aside, was converted into an Application for Leave and Judicial Review. This is an ongoing process. At this point, I have already submitted the Applicant’s Record and the Respondents have 30 days to submit their memorandum of arguments.
The last two months have been the busiest days in the last two years of struggle as the legal issues that began before the Minister made his decision on December 16, 2015, cannot simply be left up in the air. Counsels for the Ministers have been trying hard to stop these proceedings using different strategies. What is clear to us is that on December 23, 2015, this struggle shifted to a struggle against bureaucracy.
Our call to the community is for your continued attention to these legal developments. I hope that we will be able to soon announce that the process of landing has been finalized. As always, we are very grateful for your ongoing support!
Please visit www.wearejose.org for ongoing updates.
Jose, Ivania, Ivan, Esmerelda, and Ruby