Immigration: too many children are deported in the middle of the year

News 14 December, 2017
  • Photo Dominic Scali
    Stéphane Handfield, a lawyer in immigration law

    Dominique Scali

    Thursday, December 14, 2017 14:50

    Thursday, December 14, 2017 14:50

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    The children who go to school should not be expelled from the country in the middle of the school year, asking the government lawyer of the family of Leony Lawrence, whose history had generated a huge wave of sympathy two weeks ago.

    “These children have nothing asked. They are dependent on adult decisions, and even sometimes the victims of these decisions”, said to Me, Stéphane Handfield, a lawyer in immigration law.

    “Too many of its customers are returned to their country in the middle of the school year, which penalizes the children in their learning,” he says.

    In a letter sent Monday to three federal ministers, including Justin Trudeau, Me Handfield refers to the family of Leony Pavithra Lawrence. The Newspaper had told the story of this student who has earned an award from the Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM). Despite the profile of immigrants models of his family, all the members were expelled on December 3.

    The younger Dharusha, 17 years old, has done all her secondary education in French at school Lucien-Pagé. Returning to Sri Lanka before the end of the year, she can not obtain his secondary school diploma.

    “This story has put a face on this reality,” said Mr. Handfield. According to him, hundreds of school children are deported from Canada every year. The border services Agency was not able to provide exact numbers yesterday.

    No safety issue

    Me Handfield requested that the immigration Act be amended so that the students could be expelled only during the summer months. This request does not, however, apply when the individuals involved have committed a crime or pose a risk to the security of the country.

    “But in the case of the Lawrence family, what was the emergency?”, if he asked. All the more as a judgment of the supreme Court has already ruled that “the best interest of the children” is a factor to be considered in deportation decisions.

    There is a huge difference between changing a school child in the same country in the course of a year and return it in a country where the system and the language are completely different, ” says Stephanie Bellenger-Heng, commissioner of the CSDM.


    “They are confronted with failure,” she said. In some cases, the efforts and money spent to educate these children are practically lost if they cannot be brought up to the end of the year. “It is of the autosabotage”.

    The time is excellent to address the issue, as Quebec has adopted a draft law to ensure that children without papers the right to be educated, were raised by several stakeholders.

    “We had so much fought to allow children without papers to be in school. I find it completely absurd that we invest in the schooling of these children for that, then, there is no consistency with the canada border services Agency,” said Mr. Handfield.

    The Association québécoise des avocats rights of immigration also supports the approach. “One child sent back to the middle of the school year is a child too”, said the president Jean-Sébastien Boudreault.

    “In the case of the Lawrence family, to keep in the country a few more months would not cost the taxpayers,” he says.

    Justin Trudeau, as well as the offices of Ahmed Hussen did not return calls from the Journal. At the office of Ralph Goodale, the public Safety, it is suggested that it is the minister of Immigration who is best placed to consider this question, and that it is the border services Agency, which enforces the law.

    For its part, the Agency states that it is “responsible to run the references as quickly as possible”.