For missing passport:
Canadian woman of Lankan origin deported
A Sri Lankan woman, who has practically grown in Canada after being
in the country for 14 years, then marrying a Canadian and having two
kids, is being deported for a missing passport in one of the cruelest
cases of aggressive deportation under the Stephen Harper Conservatives.
Janina with her husband Eliseo Ibarra and child
Janina Ibarra, who was arrested by border officials in April, who
moved to Canada from Sri Lanka at age 15, is married to a Canadian man.
They have two boys together, ages 7 and 10, reported CTV News.
“It’s really devastating to think that she could leave us, she could
leave me, the family could be split apart,” said husband Eliseo Ibarra.
“For the government to split up a family like this, it’s just
The problem stems from what Janina describes as a clerical mistake
dating back nearly 10 years.
Her Sri Lankan passport, a necessary document to apply for Canadian
citizenship, went missing somewhere between Canadian Immigration and the
Sri Lankan High Commission.
That one lost document turned into years of frustration for the
For years they tried to sort out the problem with no success.
Overcome by frustration, they eventually gave up on dealing with
“To many people, they think it’s a slam dunk case, and a lot of
people don’t understand the hardships that go with the legal side of
things,” Janina said.
Years went by as the couple raised their two boys, now 7 and 10 years
old. But in late April 2014, Canada Border Services agents arrested the
mother outside of her Vancouver home.
“The officers come out and kind of yell in your face ‘You’re under
arrest,’ they read me my rights, they handcuff, body check for weapons,
and then take me downtown,” she said.
Her husband was outraged.
“They said that they were coming to pick up my wife for immigration.
The whole process was just absurd. I don’t know why they couldn’t just
go up to the door and say ‘Hey, is Janina here?’ We would’ve gladly
cooperated with them,” Eliseo said. An immigration lawyers told CTV News
a new government policy to clear up historic cases could be to blame for
the family’s hardship.
“To me, at this stage, it’s sort of a mystery as to why she’s being
deported if she hasn’t done anything wrong,” said Lawrence Wong. “It’s
very difficult because the law itself is not very clear.”
But Wong said he doubts the government will go through with deporting
“If this person has a Canadian spouse and children born in Canada
that would be quite unusual,” he said.
The Ibarras said they are currently trying to build a case for Janina
to stay in Canada as she appeals the decision.
“(My kids) have never been apart from me for one day,” she said.
“It’s just not an option.”
- CTV News