Five separate decisions by the Immigration and Refugee Board to release an imprisoned refugee — who is considered a danger for sexual assault and randomly attacking people on the street — have been overturned by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, revealing growing conflict over how to handle violent refugees who cannot be deported.
In overruling release decisions for a man who has been in prison for more than three years because he won’t co-operate with his deportation, Chief Justice Paul S. Crampton issued a call to reconcile “the tensions in this court’s jurisprudence” on the thorny issue.
He landed soundly on the side of detention.
To do otherwise, he wrote, “would have the perverse effect of rewarding the detainee for his failure to co-operate with his removal.”
Such immigration conundrums are emerging with increasing frequency, with each individual case appearing as a bizarre oddity where a refugee is ordered out of Canada but cannot be deported.
As the cases accumulate, however, the IRB and the Federal Court are grappling with how long an unremovable non-citizen can be incarcerated before the government throws in the towel and lets him out.
The latest case, which drew Crampton into the fray, is that of Jacob Damiany Lunyamila, 40, of Vancouver.