Spread the love

Quebec sued for delays in family reunification

Photo: Karoline Boucher The Canadian Press Quebec Premier François Legault and Immigration Minister Christine Fréchette during a press conference on the government's immigration planning on May 25

A Guinean residing in Quebec and threatened with expulsion turns to the courts to “resolve the unusual immigration processing times in the family reunification category”. Kaba Keita criticizes the Quebec government for creating “unreasonable” wait times for immigrants awaiting sponsorship.

Mr. Keita filed a legal motion in the Superior Court of Quebec on Thursday. The applicant, who is represented by immigration lawyer Maxime Lapointe, is suing the Quebec government to “force it to establish an annual threshold allowing families destined for Quebec to benefit from a processing time similar to applicants destined for outside Quebec.”

It is the federal government that processes requests for family reunification. However, Quebec has established a ceiling of some 10,000 immigrants in this category for 2024, and Ottawa cannot exceed it. Result: files pile up at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Last December, the waiting time to settle permanently with loved ones in Quebec was 41 months. Me Lapointe had also sent a formal notice to the federal and Quebec immigration ministries in December asking them to act.

Threat of expulsion

The applicant in this case, Kaba Keita, is a Guinean national who arrived in Quebec in 2018, the year he subsequently filed an asylum application in Canada. He then said he feared returning to his family in Guinea. Since 2020, he has been married to Doussou Koulibaly, an immigrant, also Guinean, who obtained her permanent residence several years ago.

In March 2022, after being granted refugee status, Mr. Keita testified under oath in a hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada that his relationship with his family had improved, according to his lawyer . His status was then revoked. He has lived under threat of expulsion ever since.

The media coverage of Mr. Keita's case in 2022, as well as a series of protests, allowed him to obtain a reprieve and to remain temporarily in Quebec territory, in Quebec, where he works as a diver of the Le Continental restaurant for five years. However, he is still waiting for a request for family reunification made with his wife.

“In the absence of a decision in his sponsorship file, the [Canada Border Services Agency] will execute a removal from Canada,” his lawyer writes in the motion.

Based on this situation, the request for “appeal for judicial review” aims to “declare inapplicable, invalid or inoperative the immigration planning” of the Quebec government to force it to establish new, more conciliatory thresholds for immigrants awaiting sponsorship or outright force them to cancel these thresholds. It also demands that the government recognize “the delays in processing the family reunification category as being unreasonable and unusual.”

The Quebec government's migration plan does not plan to increase the threshold for family reunification next year. It would remain frozen at 10,400 people.

Further details will follow.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116