Borderlines Podcast #56 – Responding to Deportation Letters, with Michael Greene

Meurrens LawInadmissibility

We discuss issues involving the deportation of long term permanent residents for criminality.

Michael Greene, Q.C. is an immigration lawyer in Calgary. He served as the National Chair of the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship & Immigration Section in 2000-2001. He is representing Jaskirat Singh Sidhu in his immigration and deportation matters.

5:45 – What are the grounds for deporting a permanent resident for criminality?

13:00 – How does the appeal process work?

17:00 – What are the factors in deportation.

19:00 – An overview of the history of the law involving the deportation of permanent residents.

26:00 – What is the probability of success for a permanent resident in avoiding deportation once proceedings start?

36:00 – Stays of removal

41:00 – Strategies and tips for responding to procedural fairness letters involving removal.

[UPDATE – DECEMBER 20, 2023]

The Federal Court in Sidhu v Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2023 FC 1681 has upheld a decision of the Canada Border Services Agency to refer Mr. Sidhu to the Immigration and Refugee Board. Citing the Federal Court of Appeal decision in Obazughanmwen v Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2023 FCA 151, the Court set forth the general principles applicable to the scope of the discretion contemplated by susections 44(1) and (2) of the IRPA as follows:

  1. The scope of discretion held by immigration officers under subsection 44(1) and by ministerial delegates under subsection 44(2) of the IRPA is very limited, especially in cases of serious criminality and organized criminality: Obazughanmwen, at paras 27 and 29.
  2. In this context, immigration officers and ministerial delegates are simply on a fact-finding mission, no more, no less. Particular circumstances of the person, the offence, the conviction and the sentence are beyond the reach of those decision-makers: Obazughanmwen, at paras 31 and 39 (quoting Cha, at para 35). Such excluded personal circumstances include H&C considerations: Obazughanmwen, at paras 31 (quoting Cha, at paragraph 37) and 44-45; see also Lin v Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2019 FC 862 at para 20 [Lin], aff’d 2021 FCA 81.
  3. For greater certainty, the exercise contemplated by subsections 44(1) and (2) is an administrative screening function that is only meant to look into readily and objectively ascertainable facts concerning admissibility: Obazughanmwen, at para 37; see also paras 27 and 30.
  4. These principles apply equally to foreign nationals and permanent residents: Obazughanmwen, at para 32; see also Lin, at paras 17-18. They also apply with equal force to sections 36 and 37 of the IRPA: Obazughanmwen, at para 41.

In Dass v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2024 FC 624, Justice Ahmed ruled that while there is no obligation for CBSA to consider personal circumstances that this does not mean that delegates cannot consider them.  Decision-maker bears the discretion to consider them, and they will not be faulted if they do not.  Where they do so, the decision must be reasonable.