Unmaking Citizenship: the statelessness of Deepan Budlakoti

518a0ea06You are cordially invited to attend a discussion with Deepan Budlakoti on

Tuesday, October 1st, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
A715 Loeb, Carleton University

RSVP: justicefordeepan@gmail.com

New evidence shows the federal government is breaking its own law in its efforts to deport a 23-year-old Ottawa-born man to a country he has never visited, his lawyer claimed Wednesday.

Deepan Budlakoti, currently living with his parents in Nepean, is effectively stateless with the Canadian government claiming he isn’t a citizen and trying to deport him to India, and the Indian government saying it doesn’t want him.

Budlakoti was convicted on drug related charges in 2010 and was apparently reported to immigration authorities by a guard at the Ottawa Detention Centre.

Because he was born to parents working at the Indian High Commission, federal immigration authorities said that according to federal law, he did not automatically qualify for Canadian citizenship.

But at a Parliament Hill news conference Wednesday morning, Budlakoti’s lawyer Peter Stieda produced a letter from the former Indian High Commissioner to Canada, S.J.S. Chhatwal, certifying that Budlakoti’s parents left the commission before their son was born.

That, said Budlakoti, makes the federal government’s effort to deport him illegal because he is no longer disqualified from becoming a citizen.

His parents did not attempt to take out citizenship for their son because they assumed he was a Canadian automatically, having been born here.

Budlakoti has a Canadian passport but the government has since said that issuing it to him was an error.