Skip to main content

Family loses bid to stay in Canada

Sept. 22, 2008 - The Mississauga News

A Bangladeshi immigrant who writes for a Mississauga-based ethnic newspaper and owns a house in the city faces being deported along with his wife and university-aged son after a crackdown by the federal government on illegal immigration.

Badrul and Shammi Alam and their son, Saad, lost their bid for refugee status in 2004. They had launched two appeals, one based on compassionate grounds, the other on fear of persecution. Both were unsuccessful.

"It's not a fair decision but I understand we have to go back," said Badrul Alam. His appeal was based on the risk of harm because of his Jatiya Party connections in Bangladesh.

While Alam says he understands why he and his wife must leave Canada, he was hoping his son could stay.

"We would only like the authorities to let my son finish his education," he said.

The couple's son, Saad Alam, is starting his third year towards a life sciences degree at the University of Toronto, with plan of attending medical school in the future.

The Alams have lived in the GTA for five years. Before that, they lived for nine years in the U.S.The family's claim for refugee status was rejected in the United States, where they were living illegally.

From the U.S. they came to Canada and set down roots in Mississauga. Badrul works as a security guard and cab driver. His wife Shammi works in two nursing homes as a personal support worker, as well as for the Canadian Red Cross, to pay Saad's tuition. Badrul writes for the weekly Banfla Kagol newspaper in Mississauga and created the youth magazine, Probashi Tarunno.
The family's lawyer says that the federal government has recently cracked down on illegal immigrants.

"They're very strict about removals these days," said Anita Balakrishna, the lawyer representing the Alam family. "It's a reaction to the auditor general's report."

That report found that there were a minimum of 41,000 people living illegally in the country.

The lawyer tried to get Saad a temporary permit to study, but the strict deportation orders require the family make all their applications from Bangladesh, she said.

The family is scheduled to be deported at the end of this month.