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.
Supporters and friends of the 24 year old Ottawa-born construction worker nevertheless greeted the decision as a victory which will make a tangible difference in Deepan’s every day life. The previous restrictions had made it difficult for him to find work and live his day-to-day life.
Deepan, who was born in Canada, is facing deportation to India, his parents’ country of birth, where he has never lived and is not a citizen. The Canadian government is claiming that his parents were employed by the Indian Embassy as household help at the time of his birth and that this means he is not a citizen of Canada. The Indian Ambassador at the time has stated that the Budlakotis had left the Embassy’s employ some months before Deepan’s birth. India has also informed Canada that he is not a citizen of India.
In separate proceedings at the Federal Court, Deepan’s legal team is challenging the deportation order on constitutional grounds, asking the Court to declare that Deepan is a Canadian citizen.-30-Contact:
Deepan Budlakoti:613-216-1295 or
Peter Stieda (Legal Counsel): 613-304-1763 or 613-236-1111

Justice for Deepan Support Committee

www. justicefordeepan. org
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.