A Man Born To Indian Consular Workers In Canada Being Kicked Out By Conservative Government For Not Being Canadian

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Deepan Budlakoti Says “They’re Picking On Me Because I’m Not White”!

The lawyer for Deepan Budlakoti, Yavar Hameed says theHarper government’s track record is “showing a racial bias”in the way it handles convicted criminals. While some convictedfelons, like Conrad Black and Brenda Martin, get thered-carpet treatment, others like Budlakoti are deemed undesirableand every effort is made to oust them, Hameed said.For instance, Black, the former newspaper magnate, wasallowed to return to Canada from a U.S. prison in 2012despite renouncing his citizenship a decade earlier so hecould take a British noble title. In 2008, the government evenchartered – at a cost of more than $80,000 – a private jet to flyMartin home from a Mexican prison less than a month aftershe was sentenced to five years for fraud. She was released inless than two weeks later.

TORONTO – A man born toIndian Consular Officials inCanada is being kicked out byStephen Harper’s ConservativeGovernment for not beingCanadian and his lawyer is cryingfoul that his client is beingmade a scapegoat in the government’sunhealthy focus on kickingout immigrants and in thecase of his client who is clearly aCanadian – the Conservativegovernment is trampling on hisconstitutional rights by trying torender him stateless and forcehim out of the country.Deepan Budlakoti , who wasconvicted of a crime in Canada,was born in Ontario and onceissued a Canadian passport, butis now deemed a non-citizen bythe government, which is tryingto expel him to India. In the latestbizarre twist, Budlakotiwants a federal judge to rule thathe is “a Canadian citizen” andstop the efforts of federal ministersto render him “stateless,contrary to the Charter ofRights and Freedoms,” reportedthe Globe and Mail newspaper”It’s insane that the Harper governmentis taking this positionagainst a Canadian-born manwho has lived his entire lifehere,” said Yavar Hameed, theattorney representing Budlakoti,23. The government mustrespond to the suit by nextweek.”They’re picking on me becauseI’m not white,” said Budlakoti.”Since I’m brown they made theassumption that ‘this guy mightnot be a citizen.’ “Budlakoti spent two years inprison after convictions forweapons and drug offences. Hissentence ended in December,2012.While he was in prison, citizenshipofficials began an attemptto remove him permanently toIndia and kept him in detentionfor months after his sentencewas completed.”They’re treating me like a second-class citizen, they’ve takeneverything from me, my passport,my ability to work. I had togo to federal court just to get awork permit,” said Budlakoti, inan interview.He’s still awaiting a new socialinsurance number after Ottawavoided his original.Ottawa claims Budlakoti is a citizenof India, was never aCanadian and it makes no differencethat he has an Ontariobirth certificate and was issued aCanadian passport.But the government has alsobeen keeping evidence fromBudlakoti. Under a Privacy Actrequest, Budlakoti’s lawyershave uncovered previouslyundisclosed documents that theCanadian government knew,since last March, of India’s formalposition that Budlakoti wasnot an Indian citizen.The government has “intentionally and inbad faith concealed information from[Budlakoti] regarding his case and hasmisled the Canadian public about [his]status in Canada while conspiring withthe Minister of Public Safety to remove[Budlakoti] from Canada,”claims the federal court filingwhich seeks a declarationthat Budlakoti “is aCanadian citizen.”The government has yet torespond.Ottawa contends thatwhen Budlakoti was bornin October, 1989, his parentswere servants to thethen Indian high commissionerin Ottawa and thustheir child was covered bydiplomatic immunity andnot entitled to Canadiancitizenship. Both parentseventually applied for andwere granted Canadian citizenshipbut omittedDeepan from the application because -they say – they were told by Canadianofficials he was already Canadian.Meanwhile, the then Indian high commissioner,in a letter made public lastmonth, has confirmed the Budlakotiswere no longer working for him at thetime of Deepan’s birth.India has told Canada it doesn’t regardBudlakoti as a citizen and won’t issue hima passport or permit his entry into thecountry.Hameed says the government’s trackrecord is “showing a racial bias” in theway it handles convicted criminals.Whilesome convicted felons, like Conrad Blackand Brenda Martin, get the red-carpettreatment, others likeBudlakoti are deemed undesirableand every effort ismade to oust them,Hameed said.For instance, Black, the formernewspaper magnate,was allowed to return toCanada from a U.S. prisonin 2012 despite renouncinghis citizenship a decade earlierso he could take aBritish noble title. In 2008,the government even chartered- at a cost of morethan $80,000 – a private jetto fly Martin home from aMexican prison less than amonth after she was sentencedto five years for fraud. She wasreleased in less than two weeks later.A very different approach was taken withBudlakoti. “They’re using me as a scapegoat,the Harper government is trying toshow it can deport people faster and ifthey can deport me it will set a precedentand they’ll be able to deport others,” hesaid.Courtesy Globe and Mail