Toronto: A 74-year-old Indian woman, who
has been living in Canada illegally for six years seeking permission to stay on humanitarian grounds, has been granted a stay on deportation.
A court has overturned an earlier ruling of an
immigration department that decided in favour of her
deportation, and ordered a fresh review for Kaur under the
supervision of a different immigration officer.
Gyan Kaur, a mother of four, came to Canada where all
her children were based, in 2001 after her husband died.
While two of her four children are Canadian citizens,
two others are in Canada illegally after their own claims for
refugee status were denied.
Kaur had claimed refugee status in February 2002 "on
the ground that she feared persecution because of her Sikh
That application was denied in January 2004, and since
then she has remained in the country through several appeals
to stay on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, the Toronto
However, all these applications have been denied by
In September 2009, Kaur filed another application to
stay in Canada on humanitarian grounds.
The request was denied and the immigration department
ruled that if Kaur wanted to stay she should go back to India
and apply through proper channels.
"The difficulties she will face will flow directly
from her wish to remain illegally without proper documentation
in Canada; it is as simple as that...," read the ruling.
However, in a court ruling that overturned the
decision, Justice Marie-Josee Bedard ruled that the immigration department had not given enough weight to the hardships that the elderly woman might face if she returned to India, where she has no family remaining.
"The officer reached his conclusion on hardship on the
basis of one consideration only: the hardship that she might
suffer is the result of her own action," wrote Bedard.
Bedard has ordered a new review for Kaur in August
under the supervision of a different immigration officer.
The government, however, is not happy with the
decision. "In this case, we defended the decision of our
immigration officer before the court," said Alykhan Velshi, a
spokesman for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
"Beyond that, I can`t comment on any specific
immigration case. That said, it`s human nature to respond to
incentives. Rewarding illegal immigration only encourages more