Roohi Tabassum, a Pakistani National, has received a temporary suspension of deportation from the Federal Court of Canada on grounds that she would suffer irreparable harm if she was removed from Canada. In 2001, Ms. Tabassum came to Canada from the US and filed a refugee claim that was refused by the Immigration and Refugee Board. Since that time, however, Ms. Tabassum had successfully established a life for herself as a hairdresser in Mississauga, Ontario.
After her refugee claim was dismissed, Ms. Tabassum was eligible to apply for a Pre Removal Risk Assessment or a PRRA which, like her Refugee Claim, was refused. Fortunately for her, the Federal Court saw things different and considered letters she submitted from her husband and his relatives stating she would be killed if he returned to Pakistan. The letters purportedly stated that she “dishonored” the family by touching men’s hair. Obviously an occupational hazard in the eyes of these family members.
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) will reconsider her PRRA and we will see whether Ms. Tabassum will be able to remain in Canada.
This case shows that it is important to avail one self of all legal avenues open to people facing persecution. Ms. Tabassum originally came to Canada and made a refugee claim. Once that failed, she then applied for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment to the CBSA. Once that failed, she with her lawyer, applied for a Federal Court Stay to suspend her removal order. The point here is that for some people, its a fight to stay and remain in Canada. But to win the battle, you have to know your legal options.
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