Former Somali child refugee Abdoul Abdi says he’s fearful of being deported to a country he has no connection to, for reasons that are largely not of his own making.
Abdi, who never got Canadian citizenship while growing up in foster care in Nova Scotia, was held by the Canada Border Services Agency after spending five years in prison for multiple offences, including aggravated assault.
Abdi says in an interview he has paid for his mistakes and wants the federal government to halt any attempt to deport him, which he described as “the greatest injustice I’ve ever seen.”
He says he has no remaining ties to the war-torn country, and wants to get on with his life after serving his prison term and be a role model for his daughter.
His case has become a rallying point for advocates who say it was wrong for the province to fail to apply for citizenship on his behalf.
Abdi was six years old when he arrived in Nova Scotia as a refugee and went to live with his aunt, who didn’t speak English, before being apprehended by the Nova Scotia government.
Between the ages of eight and 19, Abdi was moved 31 times and separated from his sister.
His aunt’s efforts to regain custody were rejected, and attempts to file a citizenship application for the children was blocked.