A federal court has overturned a Canadian officer’s decision to deny an ex Iraqi government official under Saddam Hussein’s regime permanent residence. This holds the huge potential of affecting how Canada handles a subsequent request for permanent residence from refugees with ties to dictatorship.
According to the judge of the federal court, Judge Michael Manson said the visa officer did not consider evidence showing that the man, Zaghlol Kassab, had insignificant power in Hussein’s regime. He hence ordered that another officer reassess Zaghlol’s application for permanent residence. He nevertheless asked what module Canadian officials are to follow when determining how influential someone is in a regime charged with human right abuses in order to let them in the country as refugees? The Federal Court of Appeal will provide an answer to the judge’s question.
Supreme Court to Step in
This issue could end up before the Supreme Court according to an immigration lawyer and analyst, Sergio Karas. He also cited the lack of sufficient guidance in determining how powerful someone will be in a government to be denied entry into Canada.
Sergio emphasized that there is a need for the court to set clear standards and terms in making such decision as this will help avoid dramas.
72-year-old Kassab is an Iraqi engineer who has worked with Iraqi civil service for almost the entirety of his career. After retiring from civil service, early 2000, Kassab started an engineering consulting business. In 2004, he moved to Jordan with his family – spending times in Iraq, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. While in Iraq, he, with his family, faced several religious persecutions. He moved permanently to Jordan when he was threatened not to go to church by armed men. He, together with his family, later applied for Canadian permanent residence as sponsored refugees.
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