Category Archives: Press Releases


Young Canadian Man’s Appeal is Rejected by OHIP 

24 November 2014, Ottawa, Algonquin territory – In a highly unusual move, the Ontario Provincial Government has told Deepan Budlakoti, a young Canadian-born man, that the free health care he has utilized for the past 25 years is no longer accessible to him.

The decision comes after Hon. Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration,  contacted the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to inform them that Mr. Budlakoti is not a citizen, despite Budlakoti holding an Ontario Birth Certificate since 1989 and a Canadian passport since 2003. Although Budlakoti is fighting this ministerial decision in Federal Court, OHIP has already rescinded his access to health care, leaving the young man without basic coverage for the past year.

“Denying OHIP coverage to any person residing in the province of Ontario is needlessly cruel, and sets a dangerous precedent. Health is a basic human right, and the denial of health care coverage to any person should not be tolerated. OHIP should be made available to all Ontario residents, regardless of their immigration status,” says Melanie Spence, a doctor with Health for All.

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Exile is Not a Canadian Value

11 September, Canadian Labour Congress

The President of the Canadian Labour Congress says it’s time for the Minister of Immigration to intervene in the plight of a Canadian-born man facing life as a stateless person.

Born to Indian diplomats in 1989, Deepan Budlakoti has lived his entire life in Canada. He’s got the Ontario birth certificate to prove it and has twice been issued a Canadian passport. Despite this, he now faces having his citizenship stripped away and deportation to India – a country in which he has never lived and which does not recognize him as an Indian national.

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Ottawa-born Deepan Budlakoti will challenge decision that leaves him stateless

Ottawa – Unceded, Unsurrendered Algonquin Land, 10 September 2014 – A shocking and deplorable decision handed down yesterday by Justice Phelan of the Federal Court claims that the stripping of Deepan Budlakoti’s citizenship is consistent with the laws of Canada. At the age of 21, Budlakoti, who was born in Ottawa, was suddenly informed that he was not a citizen. This resulted in his inability to hold a job, access health care, or receive other benefits of citizenship.  Justice Phelan claims that this process of denationalization is not an infringement of Deepan’s charter rights (s. 6 & 7).

“Obviously, I will appeal,” said Deepan Budlakoti. “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.”

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Advisory. Deepan Budlakoti Takes Fight to Reclaim Citizenship to Federal Court on Monday

(Le français suit)

Ottawa, Algonquin Territory, 12 June 2014 – Deepan Budlakoti’s charter challenge to reclaim his citizenship will be heard at 9:30 Monday morning. If successful, the motion will force the Canadian government to admit that their actions violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and cost Budlakoti undue hardship. It would also force the government to recognize Budlakoti as a Canadian citizen.

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Nation-wide banner drops in support of Deepan Budlakoti

Call on government to restore Deepan’s citizenship ahead of the Charter challenge


On Wednesday 9 April, 2014, in a strong demonstration of nation-wide solidarity, over 10 cities from coast to coast dropped banners in support of Deepan Budlakoti and his fight to have his citizenship restored. Communities from Ottawa, to Kingston, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, St. Catherines, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver, dropped banners in solidarity with the Justice for Deepan campaign.

In May 2010, Deepan Budlakoti, a construction worker born in Ottawa, Canada, was informed by the government that his passport was issued to him in error.

“Although Deepan was born in Ottawa and has lived here his entire life, the government is trying to deport him to India”, said Lena McFarlane a member of the Justice for Deepan Support Committee. “Deepan has been rendered stateless by his own government – the government of Canada. She added, “the government’s actions are outrageous and inexcusable.”

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Surprise Visit to Trudeau

A dozen supporters and friends of Deepan accompanied Deepan on 22 January 2014 to deliver the following letter to Trudeau’s office. Trudeau’s staff refused to lift a finger to help; despite repeated requests they refused to try to schedule a meeting or even commit to responding by email. Meanwhile, a picket took place outside the office, informing passers by of Deepan’s case and Trudeau’s refusal to intervene.



Dear Mr. Trudeau,

We are friends and supporters of Deepan Budlakoti, many of us also members of your electoral riding, who have come to your office today out of a sense of deep frustration at your refusal to support Mr. Budlakoti.

As you know, Mr. Budlakoti is an Ottawa-born man who is living under a deportation order to India, a country where he does not even have citizenship. The threat of deportation against Mr. Budlakoti is the result of an unjust immigration system, and specifically of legislation within the immigration system that doubly punishes non-citizens with criminal convictions. The fact that Deepan’s citizenship is even being questioned, despite evidence that the basis for this questioning is false, is another dimension of the injustice of his situation.

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Ottawa, 1 November 2013 – Deepan Budlakoti walked out of the immigration board a little closer to being a free man today. Although the Board stopped short of fully restoring his freedom, it agreed to lift his curfew, grant new sureties, and, importantly, allow him to move residence. It also reduced his reporting requirement to the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA). CBSA argued that all conditions should be maintained but it was over-ruled.
During the four hour hearing, Deepan’s legal team presented evidence that the CBSA had deliberately withheld key information from the Board and from Deepan, namely the fact that India had informed Canada that it did not recognize him as a citizen. While the Board acknowledged that CBSA had wrongly withheld information, it refused to accept jurisdiction over the broader context regarding Deepan’s status. If Deepan is a citizen and if he cannot be deported to India, he cannot legally be held in immigration detention.

Release. Canadian Man Launches Charter Challenge to Stop Deportation to Parents’ Homeland

Lire version française ici.

16 October 2013, Ottawa – Deepan Budlakoti, a Canadian-born man under a deportation order to his parent’s country of origin, has asked the Federal Court to declare that he is a citizen. Budlakoti’s application to the Federal Court under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms argues that the federal government has violated international law and numerous charter rights in its treatment of him. It also says that the government has acted in bad faith, misled the public, and intentionally concealed information from the 23-year old construction worker. (Read full application here.)

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New Evidence Challenges Government Position on Deepan Budlakoti

Supporters call on Ministers Alexander and Blaney to halt deportation of Canadian-born man, recognize his citizenship at a press conference in Parliament

Ottawa, 18 September 2013 — New evidence in Deepan Budlakoti’s case, received yesterday, has shaken the foundations of the government attempt to deport the 23-year old, Ottawa-born construction worker.

Speaking at a press conference in Parliament this morning, immigration lawyer Peter Stieda announced, “We have just received confirmation from S.J.S. Chhatwal, the former High Commissioner of India in Canada, that Deepan’s parents were not working for him at the time of Deepan’s birth. There is absolutely no reasonable basis to doubt that Deepan is Canadian. Rather than stripping him of status, this government is legally obliged to restore his citizenship and remove all conditions against him.”

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Advisory: Ministers Alexander and Blaney challenged over deportation of Canadian-born man

Supporters of Deepan Budlakoti will be attempting to hand-deliver letters to Minister of Public Safety, Steven Blaney, and the Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Chris Alexander, in Ottawa on Wednesday. The letters call on the Ministers to reinstate the citizenship of the Ottawa-born man. The 23-year old Canadian construction worker has been facing deportation to India, where he has never lived and is not a citizen, since last year. Deepan’s legal team is challenging the deportation order on constitutional and other grounds.

WHAT: Press Conference and Delivery of letters to the Ministers of Public Safety and Citizenship and Immigration
WHEN: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 10:00am
WHERE: Charles Lynch room, Centre Bloc, Parliament Hill, Ottawa

Deepan Budlakoti
Peter Stieda, Legal Counsel
Harry Ghadban, Eastern Ontario Director of UNIFOR.
Stan Kupferschmidt, Justice for Deepan support committee
Lena McFarlane, Justice for Deepan support committee
Yavar Hameed, Legal Counsel


Deepan Budlakoti:
Peter Stieda: 613-304-1763 or 613-236-1111, Lawyer
Yavar Hameed: 613-232-2688 ext. 228, Lawyer

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.