Habeas Corpus and Immigration Detentions - Case Comment: Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) v. Chhina

Habeas Corpus and Immigration Detentions - Case Comment: Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) v. Chhina

On May 10, 2019, Canada’s highest court released its decision in Chhina, which addressed the availability of habeas corpus to individuals in immigration detention. Habeas corpus is a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before the court to secure a person’s release, unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention. 

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Temporary Suspension of Removals to Haiti

Message from CBSA

As a result of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, please be advised that an Administrative Deferral of Removal (ADR) is immediately imposed to that country pursuant to section 230 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. All removals to Haiti are temporarily deferred except for the removal of persons who are:

  • inadmissible under subsection 34(1) of the Act on security grounds;
  • inadmissible under subsection 35(1) of the Act on grounds of violating human or international rights;
  • inadmissible under subsection 36(1) of the Act on grounds of serious criminality or under subsection 36(2) of the Act on grounds of criminality;
  • inadmissible under subsection 37(1) of the Act on grounds of organized criminality;
  • referred to in section F of Article 1 of the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention;
  • consenting to their removal.

Any other exceptional removal cases should be referred to NHQ, Operations Branch, Enforcement and Intelligence Operations Directorate, Removal Operations, for an individual assessment.

Pre-Removal Risk Assessments (PRRA)

By Rekha McNutt

As the new year begins, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in Calgary (and we hear elsewhere) has been very busy in issuing PRRA notices. This is a crucial step in the removals process and it is therefore very important to understand your rights and responsibilities in this regard.

A PRRA is the final risk assessment given to an individual before they are deported back to their country. Not everyone is eligible for a PRRA, but if you are, pay close attention to the deadlines provided. If you are eligible for a PRRA, your removal from Canada is "Stayed" (ie. paused) until such time as a negative decision is made on your PRRA.

We are told that approximately 500 PRRA call-in notices have been issued in Calgary alone! A call-in notice simply requires you to attend at a CBSA office to be given a piece of paper which allows you to file your PRRA application. The process is straightforward. Thereafter, you have 15 days to file your PRRA forms.  If you fail to file your forms in time, you no longer benefit from a Stay of your deportation, and can be removed at any time. 

Once forms are sent in, you will have another 15 days to send any submissions on the risks you face in your country. Those submissions can be updated during the PRRA process. 

Ultimately, to succeed on a PRRA, you must demonstrate you face refugee-like risk. As such, general adverse country conditions will not be enough. However, even if you do not believe you will succeed on the PRRA, filing it may still be important, especially if you happen to have other applications (such as a humanitarian and compassionate application) currently in queue for processing. 

So, if you have been served with PRRA, or have an appointment coming up, don't panic! But do get good legal advice on your rights and responsibilities in Canada.