Widow No Longer A “Terrorist”, May Avoid Deportation – Canadian Immigration News
A Supreme Court decision appears to indicate that a Sri Lankan woman will avoid deportation due to ties to a terrorist organization. Sugunanayake Joseph is the widow of Sri Lankan parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham, who was assassinated on Christmas Eve in 2005 while attending mass in Batticaloa. After the attack, Canadian immigration officials granted Ms. Joseph a temporary visitor’s visa. She has lived in Canada ever since, with her son and daughter who are both Canadian citizens.
The operative Supreme Court case involved Rachidi Ekanza Ekozola, a Congolese diplomat who had been denied a request for refugee status. When that case came before the Supreme Court, the justices determined that the new test for a member of a terrorist group should be whether an individual contributed to terrorist acts, rather than simply being complicit in their commission.
Sugunanayake Joseph’s husband was part of a faction of Parliament known as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), who were proponents of a separatist movement but also advocated for peace and human rights. Canadian immigration authorities viewed the alliance as a political arm of the Tamil Tigers, a recognized terrorist organization whose aim is to secede from Sri Lanka.
Ms. Joseph was facing deportation from Canada after the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) made the determination the TNA was a “proxy” for the Tamil Tigers. It concluded that Ms. Joseph’s attendance of certain meetings with her husband, as well as her working as his secretary, indicated support for his political activities. During Ms. Joseph’s Pre-Removal Risk Assessment, the Judge made judicial notice of a Supreme Court’s decision redefining membership in a terrorist organization. Based on that ruling, Judge O’Reilly said, Ms. Joseph would be unlikely to be found to be a member of a terrorist organization.
What will come of Ms. Joseph’s deportation proceedings remains to be seen, but it is clear the new definition of membership in a terrorist group may lower the threshold for those seeking entry into Canada.
Many potential avenues of Canadian immigration exist, ranging from programs based on familial relations to requests for political asylum. Generally speaking, those seeking political asylum must demonstrate a fear of persecution or an immediate need of protection. Determinations of eligibility for political asylum can be extremely fact-specific, particularly when an individual’s circumstances are not part of a larger situation or conflict. Fortunately, there are also many other avenues through which a person can immigrate to Canada.
To determine which Canadian immigration program is right for you, contact First Immigration Law Firm – Canadian Immigration Law Firm today at 1 (855) 360-4333 from North America or internationally at 1 (514) 360-4333.