From a August 15, 2019 Desmond Cole Facebook post:
Asking for your help today. In a few days our government is planning to deport another Somali refugee who never got his citizenship because of government neglect. Abdilahi Elmi came to Canada as a refugee at age 10. At 13, Ontario Child Welfare apprehended Elmi from his mother. At that point child welfare was the only entity that could legally apply for Elmi’s citizenship—it never did.
Like so many children separated from their families, Elmi got into trouble with the law. Anyone without citizenship who is sentenced to more than six months in jail is eligible to be deported. But Elmi has been here for 24 years, and government inaction is the only reason he isn’t a citizen. If this situation sounds familiar, it’s very similar to the situation of Abdoul Abdi, a Somali refugee whose deportation was cancelled last year when many of us spoke up for him.
It’s time to raise our voices again for Elmi, and to tell government to stop this disposable treatment of refugees, particularly Somali refugees. The government plans to deport Elmi on August 21. If you are reading this, I ask you to contact two people who can stop this deportation: Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, and Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Citizenship Immigration and Refugees (Hussen is a Somali refugee). Tell them to stop the deportation of Abdilahi Elmi, and to retroactively grant citizenship to all people without status who have been apprehended by child welfare agencies.
Ralph Goodale: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ahmed Hussen: Ahmed.Hussen@parl.gc.ca
All communication is helpful but if you have a moment, PLEASE CALL THE MINISTERS. Calling is most effective because it requires the time of a staff person, and because it’s more personal than e-mail. Leave a message if you get voicemail and/or call again. Sample script/e-mail below:
Hello, I’m contacting you today to demand that the minister cancel the deportation of Abdilahi Elmi, an Edmonton resident whose been a refugee in Canada for 24 years. Elmi and many others like him are without status because our government apprehends non-citizen children but fails to apply for their citizenship.
I oppose the disposable treatment of refugees by this government. We cannot say we welcome people into our country and then deport them into life-threatening situations. Canada is Elmi’s home and he belongs here. Your government is campaigning for re-election, in large part on the notion that it welcomes refugees to Canada. Live up to your words, cancel Elmi’s deportation, and give status to all people the government has taken into child welfare services.