On Monday, about 20 people gathered to protest the potential deportation of Abdoulkader Abdi to Somalia, who was in Toronto that day for a court date.
The protesters gathered at noon outside the office of Fredericton MP Matt Decourcey, holding signs and handing out pamphlets with the intention of alerting the public to Abdi’s situation.
Abdoul Abdi has been living in Canada for the past 18 years after arriving in Nova Scotia from Somalia, escaping the Somali Civil War. He spent his childhood in 20 different foster homes, and became a permanent ward of the state when he was seven.
However, the Department of Community Services (DCS) failed to make a citizenship application for Abdi or his sister while they were minors. Protest organizer Tracey Glynn says it’s wrong that he is facing a severe punishment for something out of his control.
“He’s faced a lot in his life and I think we need now to act with some compassion and alleviate some of his burdens and that can start by making sure that he has citizenship status, which he should’ve been granted when he was a child in care of the state,” says Glynn.
Despite having a young daughter and family in Canada, Abdoulkader Abdi may still be deported to Somalia, a country that the Government of Canada currently has labelled with “Avoid All Travel” in their travel advisories. Glynn says that she while she has been a part of actions like this with positive outcomes, sometimes that isn’t the case.
“But we’re optimistic that, the Trudeau government has said that they are different from than the previous government, and so we’re hoping that this is one of the ways that they are different and that they start implementing more humane immigration policies,” says Glynn.
The verdict of Monday’s hearing is that Abdi will be removed from detention and instead transferred to a Toronto community residential facility, though he is still at risk of deportation by the Canadian government.