Category Archives: Uncategorized

Raffle for Original Art Work

IMG_2235The winning ticket was drawn on July 15, 2014. The winner has agreed to donate this original artwork by Nathalie Sheppard to a community centre in Ottawa.

Help Deepan in his struggle for justice by buying a raffle ticket for a chance to win an original work of art (4 x 3 feet) by Nathalie Sheppard.

Buy tickets, click here!

Joint Statement on the Act to Steal Citizenship

Joint statement by Fuerza-Puwersa, Justice for Migrant Workers, Justice for Deepan, No One Is Illegal – Montreal, No One Is Illegal – Ottawa, No One Is Illegal – Toronto, No One Is Illegal – Vancouver, Solidarity Across Borders.

published on, 3 July 2014

The federal government has just passed Bill C-24, an Act to Steal Citizenship (or what they call Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act), which further dismantles Canada’s already exclusionary and racist immigration system. This law will likely come into effect in 2014 and citizenship, which is already out of the reach for most migrants, will be much harder to get and it will be easier to taken away at the discretion of immigration officials. This Act targets people with dual citizenship, make its harder for people to appeal court decisions, and gives unprecedented power to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. 

This comes at a time when most avenues to permanent residency (which one has to get before applying for citizenship) have already been severely gutted. Since the late 1990s, more people have been entering Canada on temporary status than with access to permanent residency. After a decade of steady decline, refugee acceptances (which represent less than 0.1 per cent of the world’s refugees) hit a historic low last year. This trend is largely due to the Refugee Exclusion Act that legally discriminates based on nationality.

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Canadian-born but stateless

By Sima Sahar Zerehi, January 29, 2014, The Halifax Commoner.

A Canadian-born man stripped of his citizenship is facing deportation from the only home he’s ever known.SIMA

Deepan Budlakoti, 24, was born in Ottawa at the former Grace Hospital and issued an Ontario birth certificate. When he was eight he was added to his mom’s Canadian passport as Canadian-born.At 14 he was issued his own passport, proving his nationality. As a teenager he was taken under the protection of Children’s Aid Society and became a ward of the state.

Read more here.

Undoing Border Imperialism, Reclaiming Citizenship

Simon Semchuk, Arthur, The Peterborough and Trent University Independent Press, January 27, 2014

Last Monday, Jan. 20, many people came out despite Committee’s the cold to hear the Community Race Relationsevent “Undoing Border Imperialism, Reclaiming Citizenship,” featuring Deepan Budlakoti, Harshia Walia, and Vanessa Gray on acts of environmental and cultural violence committed by the Canadian government, and Ayendri Perrera on creating a space for catalysing local activism for detainees.undoing-border-imperialism

Budlakoti is an Ottawa-born activist who was stripped of his citizenship in 2010. He was to be deported to India, where he has never lived, but, due to India not recognizing his citizenship either, he is now a stateless person pitted in a battle against the Conservative government for his right to citizenship.

“I’m born in Canada. I have an Ontario birth certificate. I have lived in Ottawa all my life,” Budlakoti began, explaining he was charged with the transfer of a firearm, and during his incarceration, got into an altercation with one of the guards who sent him to solitary confinement. He stayed in the hole for 30 days.

While there, a guard asked him if he was a citizen, and then, when shown documentation, took away his passport and contacted the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), which was beyond that guard’s jurisdiction to do.

Read more here.

A battle for lost citizenship: Centretown’s newest neighbour is stateless and fighting to stay

This winter, Deepan Budlakoti moved into his new home in Centretown. The 24-year-old, Ottawa-born construction worker was stripped of his citizenship by the Canadian government in 2011. He is now a stateless person pitted in an incredible battle against the Canadian government over his entitlement to citizenship.

The government is attempting to deport him to his parents’ homeland, India, a country where he has never lived and which has explicitly stated that he does not have citizenship.

Budlakoti’s parents are Canadian citizens. So is his brother. Yet Budlakoti is now living in stateless limbo.

Born at Grace Hospital on October 17, 1989, he was issued an Ontario birth certificate at the time of his birth and, later, even issued a Canadian passport, which the government now states was issued to him in error.


Passport Law

Deepan was twice issued a Canadian passport. In 2010, government officials decided, based on a very technical reading of the law and a biased interpretation of the facts, that he was not a citizen and the passport had been issued in error.
It is important to realize that the government has the power to take back anyone’s passport at any time. Click here to read the Passport Order and see especially sections 10(d) and (e) to appreciate just how controlled our comings and goings can be, even with the privileges of citizenship.