Monday, June 13, 2005

Kalthoom Warsama


Kalthoom Warsama and 6 of her children must show up for deportation to the US on July 12 or a federal warrant will be issued for their arrest. Only Ms. Warsama's youngest child (3) will be legally spared from forced deportation because he happens to have been born on Canadian state soil. Ms. Warsama has been offered the "choice" to leave her 3 year old here alone, but the remaining family members must leave, including 20 year old Hibo who has severe disability issues and is confined to a wheelchair.

After her eldest son, Ahmed, disappeared amidst civil unrest in Somalia, Kalthoom (then pregnant) fled with her remaining children to Canada to seek Refugee status. The unjust and often arbitrary Immigration and Refugee Board (whose decision-makers are political appointees) refused to recognize that as minority tribe members the family faced persecution. The Warsama's then filed to gain landed status in Canada on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds.

Immigration Canada, in the true spirit of Canadian "multiculturalism", is deporting the family before their claim for status is even looked at or decided upon. Kalthoom and her children (the youngest being 3 years oldand the oldest 22) will almost certainly be jailed in the United States and eventually sent back to Somalia. In the US the family will have no coverage for medical or essential support services. They will be without status in a desperate situation. Struggling neo-colonial Somalia lacks the infrastructure, basic services, or stability that this family- and particularly Hibo - desperately need. Ms. Kalthoom also fears that her daughters will be forcibly circumcised in Somalia and is strongly opposed to this practice. In the past, Immigration Canada has been forced to admit that unless Somali girls have broad family networks able to protect them from FGM, the risk of circumcision is too high to allow them to be deported. By technically deporting people to the US, the Canadian government is able to sidestep acknowledgement and responsibility for the family's obvious fate-that they are destined to be forced back to Somalia.

Less than 5% of Humanitarian and Compassionate applications are accepted by Immigration Canada, and it is extremely difficult for people to win if they are receiving government assistance. This policy is key in forcing Immigrants to become a super-exploited workforce scrambling to take the toughest, most low paid jobs available in order to make ends meet. This family has been forced to take themselves off welfare, despite their tremendous need for government support. For the last 6 months, they have been trying to survive off the money the older children are able to make at part-time after school jobs.

So, please copy and send the following message:

Joe Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration,

I demand that the family of KALTHOOM WARSAMA be allowed to remain in Canada and that they should be granted landed status.

[your name & address]

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