American permanent resident facing deportation to Canada

Calgary Immigration Lawyer

30-year old crime leads to deportation for Canadian

A man born in Canada who moved to the United States as a child is facing deportation to Canada because he stole a tape deck in 1978.

Mike Burrows hasn’t been to Canada in 50 years and has no living family or friends in Calgary, where he was born. His father was transfered to Los Angeles for work when he was a child, and his family was given permanent resident visas in the United States.

Despite leading a normal life, paying his taxes and raising a family, Burrows is facing deportation to Canada because as a teenager he stole a 50$ tape deck, a misdemeanor charge. And in fact, that offense was expunged from his record in the 1980s.

Minor crimes reclassified to trigger deportation

The Immigrant and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 was retroactive, meaning even the tiniest infraction can result in deportation, because they are reclassified as aggravated felonies. Unfortunately, immigration judges are powerless against this law and can’t act even in situations where it is ridiculous.

Burrows’ blog, in which he talks about his ordeal day-to-day, is available here.

Burrows has spent 10 years fighting his deportation. He has two children in the United States that are American citizens, as well as ailing parents in their 70s. Because his parents cannot travel and the punishment for returning to the United States once deported is 20 years in jail, it’s likely Burrows would never see his parents again in the US  if deportation was successful.

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Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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