Queen's University

Deporting Tunisian dictator's family

2011-02-03

Queen’s University law professor Sharryn Aiken is available to discuss the legal issues of trying to deport the brother-in-law of Tunisia's former dictator who escaped to Canada with his family after civil unrest in the African country.

There are reports that Belhassen Trabelsi, who is now living with family in a Montreal hotel, is being stripped of his Canadian residency and Prime Minister Stephen Harper has publically said Mr. Trabelsi is not welcome in the country. But Professor Aiken, an expert on immigration and refugee law, says it may be awhile before Mr. Trabelsi is kicked out of the country.

“This could be very drawn out. Permanent residents have more rights than what are called foreign nationals to challenge removal decisions and that's understandable because once someone is given resident status, there's a sense that there's an attachment to the country. There certainly are avenues for appeal and the possibility for other applications to remain in the country, either on humanitarian grounds, or even temporary grounds," said Professor Aiken who is also the Associate Dean for the Queen’s law department. "I think the issue of the children would be a primary consideration in terms of what should happen to this family. I think Canadians should remember that when it comes to children, they are the innocent victims no matter how reprehensible their parents may be.”

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 or michael.onesi@queensu.ca or Christina Archibald at 613-533-32877 or Christina.Archibald@queensu.ca at Queen’s News and Media Services, Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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