Third Symposium on Asians in the Americas
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ

The Community Church of New York
28 E. 35th Street
New York, NY 10016

June 14, 2013

The Jerusalem Fund
2425 Virginia Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20037

March 23, 2013

San Jose Peace and Justice Center
(between Santa Clara and San Fernando)
48 South 7th Street
San Jose, CA

2012 has been a breakthrough year for Enemy Alien as well as for Life or Liberty's next project, the Tule Lake Documentary.

Denounce the deportation of Ahmad Nafaa

Stateless Palestinian Refugee is now in a US jail, eventually to be

deported to the refugee camp!

Denounce the deportation of Ahmad Nafaa, demand his return to Canada!

December 1. 2004-- Tuesday morning, Ahmad Nafaa was deported from Canada

to the United States. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the

Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) turned Ahmad over to the U.S.

Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), who immediately locked

him up in the Clinton County Jail in Northern New York. All of this

occurred despite the week-long efforts of the Coalition Against the

Deportation of Palestinian Refugees and allies, who had been working,

since Ahmad was detained on November 23, to prevent his deportation. The

night before Ahmad was deported, friends went to visit him in the Laval

detention center, Ahmad was very afraid of what is awaiting him in the

US and felt that his last hope for living a life in peace and dignity

was being crushed in those few hours. Ahmad removed a map of Palestine

from his necklace and gave it to a friend for fear of being harassed in

the US by immigration officials or in the US jail.

At this moment, Ahmad is being transferred from the Clinton County Jail

to the INS detention center near Buffalo, NY. The situation he faces in

the US, in addition to the injustice of an arbitrary detention, is

difficult and dangerous. It is unlikely that the US will not eventually

deport him back to the 56-year-old Palestinian refugee camp of Ein El

Helweh in Lebanon, back to a life of statelessness and a life void of

all fundamental civil and human rights. It is crucial to recall that

occurs against the background of the Canadian government?s continued

support of Israel and the illegal occupation of Palestine.

Ahmad will probably be found ineligible to claim asylum as a refugee in

the US. US immigration law imposes a one year time limit for the filing

of a refugee claim, and the time starts running at the moment the

claimant first enters the country. Because Ahmad first entered the US,

on his way to Canada, in 2001, that time period has expired. He can

apply for a 'Withholding from Removal', but the standards applied to

such an application are much higher than for a refugee claim, and it

does not confer the same status. The acceptance rates in the US for both

types of claims are disturbingly low. Even if Ahmad is released from

detention during the time that his claims are processed, he will not be

eligible for a work permit for six months.

While Ahmad was being forced into this situation by CIC and the CBSA,

the Minister of Immigration Canada, Judy Sgro, ignored a wide variety of

efforts to convince her to stop Ahmad?s deportation. Several members of

Parliament, including Bill Siksay (NDP), Meille Faille (Bloc), and Alexa

McDonough (NDP), personally pressured the Minister to review Ahmad's

file and stay his deportation. On Monday morning, Bill Siksay asked the

following question in Parliament: ?Could the Prime Minister assure us

that Canada will live up to its obligations under the UN Convention on

the Reduction of Statelessness and, given his personal commitment to the

protection of Palestinians, will he ensure that stateless Palestinian

refugees are not deported from Canada?? Over the past week, the Minister

and several high-level bureaucrats in CIC received thousands of faxes,

phone calls and emails explaining Ahmad's situation and demanding a stay

of deportation. Despite all of this, the Minister remained intransigent.

The Coalition organized four demonstrations in support of Ahmad, two in

front of Immigration Canada?s Montreal office, one at the Laval

detention center where Ahmad was being held, and one in front of the

Ministry of Citizenship & Immigration in Ottawa. The Coalition?s allies

in Toronto organized a demonstration at the riding offices of Minister


Several major media outlets, including the CBC, Radio Canada, La Presse,

Le Devoir, The Gazette and Global Television, provided extensive

coverage of these demonstrations and Ahmad's plight. Journalists were

able to interview Ahmad over the weekend while he was in detention in

Laval. These interviews appeared on television and in the print media.

Still, Sgro, who was surely made aware of the extensive media coverage

and public awareness regarding Ahmad, refused to act.

For a sampling of the media coverage, visit the following:






The Federal Court also failed to prevent this injustice. On Monday

afternoon, Judge Beaudry rejected an application for a stay of

deportation, which had been filed by Ahmad?s lawyer, Annick Legault. The

judge, incredibly, found that Ahmad would not face ?irreparable harm? if

deported to the US. One wonders what reparations Judge Beaudry would

therefore find adequate for the indignity and loss of liberty that Ahmad

has already suffered during just his first 24 hours in the US. Judge

Beaudry also denied the application on the grounds that Ahamd did not

have ?clean hands? because he had been living underground for over a

year before being detained (he way, as they say, ?illegal?). In essence,

the judge refused the application because Ahmad had been forced

underground in order to avoid deportation to the poverty and persecution

that are daily life in the refugee camps of Lebanon. This despite the

fact that the initial refusal of Ahmad?s refugee claim was clearly

unjust. A clear indication of that is that fact that his own brother,

who has exactly the same case, was granted refugee status in Canada and

is allowed to stay simply because a different Immigration & Refugee

Board member heard his case.

The Coalition is now organizing to arrange to pay a $10,000 (USD) bond

so that Ahmad may be released from detention while he awaits his

virtually guaranteed deportation back to Lebanon.


We ask you to again write, call or email the Removal Officer in this

case and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, expressing your

outrage and disgust at the failure of the government to prevent this

gross injustice.


1) To accept Ahmad Nafaa?s humanitarian and compassionate grounds

application, which was filed over 6 months ago, so that he may return to


2) To stop the deportation and regularize the status of the Stateless

Palestinian refugees who are facing deportation from Canada.

For more information, contact the Coalition Against the Deportation of

Palestinian Refugees:


Phone: 514.591.3171


Removal Officer

Ludmilla St-Saveur

Agent d'execution de la loi-CBSA

1010 rue St-Antoine

Phone: 496-2683

Fax: 496-1882

Judy Sgro

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada

CIC National Headquarters

365 Laurier, Jean Edmonds South Tower, 21st Floor

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1

Fax: (613) 947-8319

Phone: (613) 954-1064


Honourable Judy Sgro,

December 1 2004 - AHMAD NAFAA has been deported from Canada to the

United States, and after being locked in the Clinton County Jail, he is

being transferred to an INS detention center. We, therefore,

respectfully request that, as Citizenship and Immigration Minister,

immediately accept his application for permanent residence on

compassionate and humanitarian grounds so that he may return to Canada.

The Canadian government has already failed Mr. Nafaa once, by failing to

stop his unjust deportation, and the only way to remedy that wrong is to

allow Mr. Nafaa to return to Canada as soon as possible.

Mr. Nafaa was born a stateless Palestinian in Ein El-Hilweh refugee camp

in Lebanon. Fear, poverty and persecution are daily facts of life in the

Ein El-Hilweh camp, and the present and future are grim for resident

Palestinians. They are banned from an ever-expanding number of trades

and professions. Unemployment among them, as a result, is extremely

high. Poverty rates are also astronomical. The restrictions on new

construction within the camp means its residents are forced to live in

dilapidated, hopelessly abject housing. All these factors lead to a

situation so bleak for Palestinians that suicide in the camp is an

everyday tragedy.

After 24 years in the camp and suffering its endemic racism,

discrimination, fear, violence and poverty, Mr. Nafaa fled Lebanon and

claimed refugee status in Canada. His claim was denied on February 20,

2002. On the other hand, his brother Mohammad?s refugee claim, heard by

a different member of the refugee board, was accepted.

Since arriving in Canada, Mr. Nafaa has become fully integrated in

Canadian and Quebec society. He has been reunited with his brother, and

they have renewed their close family ties. Mr. Nafaa currently works

full-time in a restaurant and is a self-sufficient and contributing

member of his community. He dreams of returning to school and finishing

the nursing degree he began in Lebanon. After suffering for so many

years as a refugee, his greatest desire is to alleviate the suffering of

others. In every sense, Mr. Nafaa has found a home in Canada.

Ahmad Nafaa now faces deportation from the U.S. to the refugee camps of

Lebanon, where the conditions faced by Palestinians are dangerous,

degrading and, beyond dispute, in clear violation of international law.

This situation, over half-a-century old, is directly related to the

statelessness of Palestinians. Because of their unique situation,

Palestinians have been denied not only rights accorded ordinary citizens

but also genuine access to the international system for the protection

of refugees. The fact that Mr. Nafaa?s immediate deportation was to the

United States does not materially affect his plight. Eventual

deportation to his country of origin is virtually automatic.

In signing the United Nations Convention on the Reduction of

Statelessness in 1978, the government of Canada championed the cause of

stateless refugees. If Canada allows Mr. Nafaa to return to Lebanon, it

would be abdicating that noble responsibility. The Minister of

Citizenship and Immigration must therefore act now to grant Mr. Nafaa,

and the other stateless Palestinian refugees facing deportation from

Canada, permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds,

pursuant to s. 25(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

We thank you for your attention and efforts in this urgent matter.




-Office of the Prime Minister of Canada:, Fax: 613-941-6900

-Michel Dorais, Deputy Minister CIC: Fax: (613) 954-3509 or (613)


-Ren? D?Aoust: Director Investigation & Removal: Phone: (514) 496-1238,

Fax: (514) 496-1882

-Monique Leclair, Director General: CIC QC Regional Office: Fax: (514)


-Andrew Telegdi, P.C. (Chair of Standing Committee on Citizenship &


- Bill Siksay, MP (NDP - Immigration):

- Meili Faille, MP (Bloc Qu?b?cois - Immigration):