The deportation hearing of a former Somali child-refugee has been adjourned until a federal court decides on his judicial review.
Abdoul Abdi’s lawyer, Benjamin Perryman, announced the news in a tweet on Wednesday.
The immigration and refugee board, which oversees deportation hearings, will now have to wait until after a federal court hears Abdi’s judicial review. A full oral hearing is set for May 29.
Abdi was born in Saudi Arabia in 1993. After his parents divorced, his mother – fearing persecution if she returned to Somalia – fled to Djibouti, where the family obtained refugee status.
His biological mother died in the refugee camp when he was four, and two years later, he came to Canada with his sister and aunts.
Abdi, who was not granted 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.
Sociologist Robert Wright said there should be a review of the treatment of black children and immigrants in Nova Scotia’s child welfare system.
“Though his [Abdi’s] fate seems now to be in the hands of federal public safety and immigration authorities, we must not forget that his troubles began through the systemic failures he experienced within the provincial child-welfare system,” Wright said.
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Wright said Abdi entered provincial care shortly after arriving in Canada at the age of six. He was subsequently shifted 31 times between foster homes, while losing his native language and developing behavioural problems that were not adequately treated, he said.
Those problems led to problems with the justice system, where the earlier failure to secure citizenship now means he faces deportation.
— With files from The Canadian Press
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