Category Archives: TV

Ottawa man born in Canada loses round in fight for citizenship

Jim Bronskill, Canadian Press, published on, 10 September 2014

OTTAWA — An Ottawa man says he will appeal after losing a round in his court battle for Canadian citizenship.

Deepan Budlakoti was suddenly told by federal officials four years ago that he is not a citizen — even though he was born in Canada and had been issued a birth certificate and a Canadian passport.

The government argues Budlakoti did not automatically become a Canadian at birth in October 1989, as his parents were employed by a foreign diplomat, the Indian high commissioner.

Budlakoti, 24, was ordered out of Canada three years ago due to drug and firearms convictions. He unsuccessfully tried to challenge the order in court.

In December 2012 he completed his sentence and was released into custody of the Canada Border Services Agency.

Federal Court Justice Michael Phelan was not convinced by Budlakoti’s argument that his parents quit the Indian High Commission in June 1989, months before he was born.

“That employment terminated at some point in 1989 — the exact date is hotly contested and the facts in this record are difficult to make out,” Phelan says in his reasons for the judgment.

The judge says Budlakoti’s case is undermined by contemporary documentation, including a Dec. 6, 1989, employment authorization allowing his father to work for a new employer instead of the high commissioner.

In addition, Phelan says the fact Budlakoti was given a Canadian passport does not necessarily mean he was a Canadian citizen.

The judge dismissed the man’s claims that federal actions had violated his Charter of Rights guarantees to enter, remain in or leave Canada, and to life, liberty and security of the person.

In a statement Wednesday, Budlakoti and his supporters called the court ruling “shocking and deplorable.”

“Obviously, I will appeal,” Budlakoti said. “I refuse to be exiled from my homeland, to be made an outcast in my own society. This case is important for everyone in Canada, it sets a precedent that we should all be worried about.”

Budlakoti says he has been left stateless.

India has denied he is a citizen of that country or that he is entitled to citizenship, though Phelan says the record on this point “is sketchy at best” and “not a matter which this court can decide.”

The statement from Budlakoti’s supporters said the court decision fails to recognize any responsibility of Canada towards Budlakoti despite his lifelong, exclusive link to Canada.

“It is highly disappointing that the Federal Court is prepared to allow Deepan to languish as a stateless person indefinitely,” said Yavar Hameed, one of his lawyers.

Ottawa man fights to keep citizenship

deepan-2-250x187Ben Lewis and Kristy Cameron @1310Kristy, 1310 News, 16

Deepan Budlakoti was born in Ottawa and held a Canadian passport until 2011, when he was convicted for selling a hunting rifle to an undercover police officer.

see video of rally, click here

His arrest led to an investigation and he was ordered to be deported.

He has also faced drug trafficking charges in the past.

Budlakoti’s parents came to Canada, working at the Indian High Commission and argue they left before he was born.

“My parents left the country, got a work permit and re-entered the country with the work permit working for a Canadian doctor and then I was born,” said Budlakotti.

“It makes no logical sense what the government is trying to say.”

However, the government contends his parents were still diplomatic staff when he was born in 1989, meaning Budlakotti’s passports were issued in error.

Deemed criminally inadmissible to Canada, Budlakoti faced deportation but was rejected by India.

“He’s not an Indian citizen, so he’s become de-facto stateless”, says his lawyer, Ahmad Ramadan.

Budlakoti hopes to stay in Canada, and considers it his home.

Ottawa-born man says he has been left stateless by Canada (with video)

Video thumbnail for Fighting for citizenshipAndrew Duffy, Ottawa Citizen, 16 June 2014

Click here to see video.

An Ottawa-born man who has served jail time for gun and drug offences has asked a Federal Court judge to declare him a Canadian citizen and end his debilitating episode of statelessness.

“I have no health care, nothing, even though I’ve lived here all my life,” Deepan Budlakoti, 24, said Monday outside the Federal Court hearing. “I would like the court to give me back my citizenship so that I can go on with my life.”

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Deepan Budlakoti – Reclaiming citizenship, rejecting double punishment

Simon van Vliet, Montreal Media Coop, 4 February 2014

Deepan Budlakoti was in Montreal on Jan. 21 and 22, 2014 as part of his Reclaiming citizenship, Rejecting double punishment campaign.

He sat down for an interview with journal Ensemble on the 21st and visited Justin Trudeau’s Montreal office on the 22nd. Here’s some footage from both events.

Click here to view video.

Canadian-born man facing deportation; Immigration Canada says he’s not a citizen

Omar Sachedina, CTV, 5 July 2013


A Canadian-born man is fighting to stay in the country as he faces the prospect of deportation to India by the Canadian government after serving time for weapons and drug trafficking.

Deepan Budlakoti, 23, has lived his entire life in Canada, but for months he has been caught in what he calls a bureaucratic nightmare after the Canadian government revoked his passport and issued a deportation order.

Budlakoti could be sent to India – a country he’s never set foot in.

“I don’t know no one there, I have no family there. I have no nothing there,” he told CTV News.

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