A Federal Court judge has reserved his decision after hearing an emergency request to temporarily stop the deportation of former Somali child refugee Abdoul Abdi.
Abdi, who never got Canadian citizenship while growing up in foster care in Nova Scotia, was detained by the Canada Border Services Agency after serving five years in prison for multiple offences, including aggravated assault.
Abdi’s lawyer, Benjamin Perryman, says federal officials turned down the 24-year-old’s request to press pause on a deportation hearing while he pursues a constitutional challenge.
Abdi then asked the Federal Court to temporarily halt the deportation hearing – scheduled for March 7 – and Perryman made arguments on his behalf in Halifax today.
Perryman argued proceeding with a deportation hearing while Abdi’s constitutional challenge is ongoing will cause irreparable harm.
WATCH: ‘It’s really unfair’: Abdoul Abdi’s sister speaks out ahead of emergency hearing to stop deportation
He says the Immigration Division hearing will inevitably lead to a deportation order given the circumstances of Abdi’s case, and he would no longer be able to work – one of the conditions of his release.
Heidi Collicutt, a lawyer for the federal government, told Justice Keith Boswell that Abdi’s request presupposes an unfavourable outcome at the immigration admissibility hearing, and it would not be appropriate to stop an independent body from carrying out its statutory mandate.
Boswell reserved his decision, but said he would rule before the hearing next month.
© 2018 The Canadian Press