Let Him Stay! CAW/TCA Activists Demand Immigrant Status for Algerian Refugee
January 23, 2009, 5:37 PM EST
CAW/TCA activists from Ontario and Quebec have added their voice to a chorus demanding federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney recognize the status claim of Abdelkader Belaouni (Kader), an Algerian refugee who has been living in sanctuary in Quebec since January 2006.
Members of CAW Local 1285 in Brampton, Ontario and TCA Local 510 in Longueuil, Quebec joined with social justice groups, community and human rights activists at the Pointe St. Charles church in Montreal on January 17, in a show of public support for Kader. Local 510 President Serge Dupont addressed the crowd, calling on the Minister to intervene and grant Kader's request for status.
Kader has been living in sanctuary for the past three years at St. Gabriel's church in Montreal and has had his refugee claim refused by Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board and Immigration Canada.
Immigration Canada considers Kader's inability to find paid employment one of the major roadblocks preventing the approval of his claim. Supporters refute that notion, saying this criteria discriminates Kader on the grounds of disability (Kader is legally blind) and fails to recognize his community service work in the community of Pointe St. Charles.
Support for Kader's status claim has resonated across the country garnering the support of over 70 organizations and networks, representing over 250 student, labour, community, disability rights, migrant justice and faith-based groups in Quebec alone.
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View photos from the January 17 rally by clicking here