Canadian group protests deportation of wife of Canadian citizen

Published:  3 May at 6 PM
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Hamilton residents will demonstrate in Toronto on Saturday in protest against the deportation to Egypt of the wife of a Hamilton man.

The Reunite Wilkie Family Committee was formed after Wafaa Abdou, the Egyptian wife of Hamilton resident and Canadian citizen Ian Wilkie, was detained prior to deportation after her refugee claim was denied. The couple, who met and married in Egypt 12 years ago, were living in Syria when civil war broke out, and fled to Ian’s home town with their three young children.

Immediately they arrived, Ian attempted to sponsor his wife for her visa, but was told that she should apply as a refugee as his wages would not support his family. The advice was bad, and ended with a 14 January interrogation of Wafaa during which she was informed her refugee status had been denied.

An immigration spokesperson insists the couple were given no advice as regards Wafaa's visa status, adding that Canada’s refugee system is known for its fairness in refugee matters. She added that decisions are only made after a thorough review, but would not specify any reason for the deportation order.

Saturday, the day of Wafaa's deportation, is her son Yusuf’s birthday and, according to the Hamilton protest group, is a sad reflection of the government’s evidently false claim to back family values. She has been imprisoned in a detention centre since 14 January as she was considered to be a flight risk.
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