Canada offers birthright citizenship, as do many other countries in the world – including the United States. What birthright citizenship means is that anyone born on Canadian soil automatically becomes a Canadian citizen.
But did you know, someone who has been born in Canada can still be deported? It’s a very rarely-used and little-known law in Canada’s Citizenship Act that allows this.
A man named Deepan Budlakoti, who is 23 years old and is a first-time federal offender, is being deported to India where his parents are from – but where he has never been, as he was born in Canada.
But his parents were household staff for India’s High Commissioner, serving dinner, cleaning house and taking care of the High Commissioner’s children.
The Citizenship Act states someone who is born to parents who are employed by foreign diplomats at the time of their birth is not a Canadian citizen.
But due to several mistakes, Budlakoti has a Canadian birth certificate and passport. His parents assumed he had automatic citizenship and didn’t bother applying for him, which is understandable. They themselves became citizens in 1997, citing that their son was a citizen on their applications forms.
Budlakoti is due to finish serving a two-year drug sentence in a federal prison, at which point the federal government wants to deport him from Canada.
“I was born in Canada,” Budlakoti told the Ottawa Citizen. “It’s my country. I don’t know anyone in India and like I said, I don’t even speak the language.”
It’s a scary thought to know that you can be deported from Canada to a country you’ve never known if you were born here because of a technicality with your parents’ job at the time.