On Wednesday Feb 15, the emergency hearing for Abdoul Abdi, a 24 year old Somali man who arrived in Canada as a child refugee, took place. This occurred after Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale failed to pause a hearing challenging Abdoul Abdi’s planned deportation. The federal government planned the deportation, stating his criminal history and the fact that he is not a Canadian citizen. However, Abdi has already served his sentence, has been deemed fit for rehab, and in fact has gained employment working with youth in care in Toronto.
This upsetting situation demonstrates how the Canadian state continues to use its policies and borders to indicate whose lives are deemed of value. We have seen that those most vulnerable for deportation are disproportionately racialized (particularly Black), Muslim, LGBTQ and/or women. Particularly, the deportation of Abdoul Abdi exemplifies the deep anti-black racism, as well as the Islamophobia, that is entrenched within our society. In a country that was built by the labour of Black bodies, and in a country that funds war crimes in majority Muslim countries, the actions of the Canadian state are highly hypocritical.
We stand in solidarity with Abdoul Abdi’s family, friends, and community in Halifax, N.S., during this difficult time. We stand in solidarity with numerous activists and organizations who have been speaking up against the government’s actions. As an organization where black Muslims are highly underrepresented, we recognize the work that non-Black Muslims in our organization have to do to educate our family and friends and take action to speak up against this injustice.
What can you do? The judge reserved a decision on the hearing until March 7, so there is still a need to continue elevating our voices and taking action.
We ask the Muslim community to Email, Tweet or Call Minister Ralph Goodale, Minister Ahmed Hussen and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau through the platforms below. We have also attached a sample letter, developed by El Jones and Hillary Lindsay for your usage.
Dear Minister Goodale,
I stand in solidarity with Abdoul Abdi and ask that you immediately STOP his deportation.
I ask that the practice of ordering deportations of people who have experienced criminalization after coming to Canada as children be ended, forever, for all. This practice is inhumane. As described by Abdi’s lawyer Benjamin Perryman, these children were “denied the right to even have rights.”
Children in care in Canada right now, who are eligible for citizenship, must be granted citizenship immediately. Adults who should have been granted citizenship as children in care must be granted citizenship immediately.
Abdoul has secured a job and is trying to rebuild his life after having served his prison sentence. Instead, he’s fighting a deportation to a country he has no family in and no way to survive.
Stop this deportation. Give children in care citizenship. Let Abdoul’s Canadian daughter have her father in her life.