22 August 2013, Ottawa – This week, Yavar Hameed, one of the lawyers acting for Deepan Budlakoti, filed a Mandamus application in Federal Court, requesting that Citizenship and Immigration Canada render a decision on his request for a work permit within its own regularly stipulated timeframe. For an unknown reason, Citizenship and Immigration has put a hold on the work permit as of July 3, 2013.
This means that Deepan is effectively barred from working in Canada, despite having worked before and even having owned his own small construction business. He is also prevented from accessing basic services including health care, which he now has to pay for out of pocket, despite having been born in and having lived in Canada his entire life.
Says Deepan, “It’s really unfair – I’ve lived here my whole life and all of a sudden I’m not allowed to work, I can’t see a doctor – even volunteering is almost impossible.
The strict conditions imposed upon Deepan by the Immigration and Refugee Board make his ability to work even more difficult: Among these conditions, a curfew between 9pm and 9am means that Deepan is unable to leave his parent’s home, where the IRB forces him to reside. Many jobs in the construction trade require workers to be on the job by 6 or 7am. His ability to volunteer, which he currently doing, is also severely limited by these conditions, where he constantly has to ensure that he reaches his parent’s house before the curfew time or face arrest and indefinite detention by Canada Border Services Agency in a provincially administered jail.
Deepan Budlakoti is a 23-year-old, Ottawa-born man currently facing deportation to India, a country in which he has never lived, does not have family and to which he is not even a citizen. His case exposes the injustice of double punishment in an extreme way. Both of Deepan’s parents and his brother are Canadian citizens and live in Canada. He grew up believing he was a citizen and held a Canadian passport stating he was Canadian. However, an obscure part of Immigration law allowed the Canadian government to contest his citizenship because of his parents’ alleged status at his birth and thus, when he got in trouble with the law, to punish him twice for the same thing. Moroever, India does not recognize him as a citizen and will not issue him travel documents.
The Justice for Deepan support committee was formed in July 2013 to support Deepan Budlakoti in his quest to have his citizenship restored. Justice For Deepan rejects the Canadian state’s systematic, racist policy of ‘double punishment’ in which im/migrants, refugees and those without status are punished twice for the same thing.
Yavar Hameed, Lawyer
to set up interviews with Deepan Budlakoti, email: email@example.com
Also available to speak on this issue:
Peter Steida, Lawyer