Category Archives: Media Coverage

Deepan Budlakoti continues citizenship fight with federal government

Michael Woods, Metro, 27 May 2015

A man who says he has been rendered stateless by the Canadian government continued his fight for citizenship in federal court on Tuesday.

Deepan Budlakoti, 25, was born in Ottawa to Indian parents. Four years ago, at age 21, he was suddenly told that he’s not a Canadian citizen, despite being issued a Canadian birth certificate and passport.

He’s asking that his citizenship be reinstated and argues that the government is infringing on his charter rights to enter, remain in or leave Canada, and to life, liberty and security of the person.

Read rest of article here.

‘Stateless’ Ottawa man appeals for citizenship Larocque, Ottawa Sun, 26 May 2015

Deepan Budlakoti will continue to be a man without a country for two more weeks.

The 25-year-old Ottawa man, who doesn’t have citizenship anywhere, speculated it could take that long for the Federal Court of Appeal to rule on his appeal of an earlier decision denying him Canadian citizenship.

“It’s hard to predict. I just wait for a decision,” Budlakoti said Tuesday after his hearing.

Read rest of article here.

Deep in Deepan – Deportation of a Canadian

20150526_090042Jeannette Tossounian, Our News This Week, 26 May 2015

Will Canada now strip our citizenship and deport us back to our parents’ countries?

If the Supreme Court decides to do just that to Canadian born Deepan Budlakoti, then it may be setting a precedence allowing the government to strip the citizenship of any Canadian born citizen and send them back to their parents’ place of origin.

Budlakoti, who was born in Canada and has held two Canadian passports, was surprised to find out that he was not considered a Canadian citizen after a criminal conviction when he was 21. Now facing deportation to India, the country where his parents were originally from before becoming Canadian citizens themselves, he is left stateless.  Deepan is in deep with no country, as neither India or Canada will recognize him as a citizen. He has no access to health care, proper employment or other benefits enjoyed by Canadians.

“What the government is doing to me essentially I feel is completely unjust,” says Budlakoti.  “I’m born and raised here, I’ve lived here my entire life, yet I have to live with all these legal battles, tremendous stress, costly just because the government said they made an error and 21 years later I’m the one at fault even though the onus should fall on the governments’ side.”

Read rest of article here.

Supreme Court hears case of Ottawa-born man facing deportation

Alison Sandor, CFRA 580 News Talk Radio, 26 May 2015

The fate of an Ottawa-born man who is facing deportation now lies in the hands of the Supreme Court of Canada.

Deepan Budlakoti, whose passport was revoked in 2010 after convictions for drugs and firearms offences, is asking the court to reinstate his citizenship.

At issue is whether Budlakoti’s parents were employed by the Indian High Commission at the time of his birth. If they were diplomats, it would mean he should have never received Canadian citizenship.

Budlakoti contends his parents had quit working for the High Commission months before his birth and that he’s never lived anywhere else.

“Going through this process for five years puts a tremendous strain on myself,” he said. “I don’t have health care. I’m not able to work, then I have to fight to get a work permit … My rights have been violated on a daily basis.”

Read rest of article here.

‘Stateless’ man argues deportation before Court of Appeal

Video thumbnail for 'Stateless' man argues deportation before Court of AppealTom Spears, Ottawa Citizen, 26 May 2015

Deepan Budlakoti, born and raised in Canada, has no citizenship anywhere. But that doesn’t make him “stateless,” a lawyer for Citizenship and Immigration Canada argues.

Budlakoti needs to ask India whether he can get citizenship there before saying he’s stateless, the government argued in the Federal Court of Appeal Tuesday.

The 25-year-old convicted weapon and drug trafficker has fallen into an odd legal crack. His parents came to Canada in 1985 as diplomatic staff at the Indian High Commission. Their son Deepan was born here in October, 1989. Budlakoti has been ordered deported to India, but India rejected him. Indian officials said Budlakoti is not a citizen and have refused Canada’s request to issue him travel documents.

Read rest of article here.

Canadian citizen asks court to declare him… Canadian citizen

Matthew Behrens,, 25 May 2015

On Tuesday, May 26, Canadian citizen Deepan Budlakoti goes to court in an effort to be recognized as a Canadian citizen. Although he was born in Canada, the federal government, in a remarkably obtuse and obstinate campaign, has rendered him stateless and tried to shove him off to his ancestral India, where he has never lived and has no family.

Budlakoti’s appearance before the Federal Court of Appeal is but the latest in a lengthy, costly legal and political struggle to get back the life the Canadian government stole from him while the young man was completing a jail sentence. From behind bars, he suddenly found himself the subject of a deportation order to a country that would not accept him. Now stateless, he is unable to access health care and other social services, and cannot vote against the government that did this to him.

Budlakoti’s case reflects a number of disturbing directions in which the federal Conservatives have toyed with the concept of citizenship. Indeed, they’ve used it to their perceived political advantage to pass legislation stripping certain Canadians of citizenship for national security related allegations, to try and revoke citizenship for frivolous reasons such as not living in Canada the exact number of required days (which could affect business travellers who are permanent residents), and to deny it outright to women who wear niqab and do not want to publicly show their face (even though they are willing to do so privately).

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Ottawa man ordered deported fighting for access to OHIP

Niagara Falls Review, Dani-elle Dubé, February 25, 2015

An Ottawa-born man ordered deported to India after a stint behind bars is now fighting for access to OHIP.

In September 2014, Deepan Budlakoti, 25, lost a bid to have a federal court judge declare him a Canadian citizen which he vowed to appeal.

In addition, the man’s legal woes have denied him access to provincially-funded health care.

Read here article here. This article also appears in the Ottawa Sun.