Thursday, January 05, 2006

Re : Abdelkader Belaouni

Joe Volpe
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

Anne McLellan
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Canadian Border Services Agency

Paul Martin
Prime Minister of Canada

Dear Ministers,

I am shocked and angry to learn that Canada plans to deport Mr. Abdelkader Belaouni today. Mr. Belaouni is a man who has overcome great barriers, including a visual impairment, to create a secure and dignified life for himself in Montreal, after being displaced twice. I find it alarming that CIC has refused to grant Mr. Belaouni status, purportedly due to his inability to find work. This decision is discriminatory, because CIC failed to take into account his total visual impairment. Not only does this decision discriminate against Mr. Belaouni because of his disability, but it also ignores the significant contributions and strong connections Mr. Belaouni has made in his community of Point St-Charles, and in Montreal. Mr. Belaouni enjoys the support of over 30 organizations in Montreal, as well as the support of many Canadian citizens. The deportation of Mr. Belaouni will likely include detention in the U.S., pending his eventual deportation to Algeria. He will be particularly vulnerable in detention due to diabetes and visual impairment, in addition to the discrimination that he will face as an Arab and Muslim. Why would Canada deport a man to detention, deportation, and insecurity? He is a contributor to the well-being of his community. I urge you to exercise your power to stop the deportation of Mr. Belaouni, and to provide him with status here in Canada.


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