Justice Finally Served for Algerian Civil War Refugee
November 5, 2009, 10:58 AM EST
After nearly four years of living in sanctuary at a small Catholic Church in Montreal, Quebec Algerian-born Abdelkader Belaouni (affectionately known as Kader) was granted permanent residency status in Canada on October 22.
CAW/TCA activists in Ontario and Quebec, including members of Local 510, Local 1285 and Local 397, joined with social justice groups as well as community and human rights organizations condemning the federal government's deportation order on Kader in 2005 and demanding Immigration Canada accept his application for refugee status.
CAW President Ken Lewenza also sent a letter to federal Immigration Minster Jason Kenney asking him to recognize Kader's application to stay on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
Immigration Canada considered Kader's inability to find paid employment one of the major roadblocks preventing the approval of his claim. Kader's supporters had refuted that notion, saying the criteria discriminated Kader on the grounds of his disability (Kader is legally blind) and also failed to recognize the fact that Kader had a job offer from a community resource centre for immigrant workers.
"This is a victory for all involved in the fight for social justice," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. "However, the fact this dispute took nearly four years to settle is further proof there are gaping holes in our immigration system that need to be properly addressed."