Nairobi News


Kenyan mother of three in hiding over deportation order in Canada

A Kenyan woman living in Canada was forced to go into hiding for three months after a deportation order was issued.

Halima Abdi, 32, went into hiding living apart from her husband and her three Canadian-born children in hopes of avoiding a more drastic separation.

Now community advocates are urging the federal government to halt Halima’s deportation to Kenya before her relationship with her children is irrevocably damaged.

Halima flew from Kenya to the United States and then walked across the Canadian border on a cold morning in February 2017.

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She was fleeing the extra-judicial killings of ethnic Somalis, which she says claimed the life of her brother and forced her family into hiding.

But Canadian immigration authorities at the time concluded her life was not at risk and rejected both her refugee claim and pre-removal risk assessment.

“Unfortunately she did not have the equitable resources to truly articulate her story when she was writing the refugee claim,” said Dunia Nur, president of the African Canadian Civic Engagement Council (ACCEC), which is helping ensure Abdi now has adequate legal representation.

In Canada, her path crossed with Fowsi Abdi Yusuf, whom she’d known in Kenya.

The two married in 2018 and applied for her spousal sponsorship application. They have three children under the age of four, Mohamed, Mukhtar and Mubarak.

When a deportation order was issued to Halima at the end of June, she left her family and went into hiding.

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Citing the well-being of her kids, Nur and other community advocates argue that Halima should be allowed to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds while her spousal application is processed.

The mother of three told CBC News that she is determined to remain in Canada at least until her oldest son recovers from a nasal and throat surgery that is scheduled for October 24.

“Whatever it takes, I have to be there at the hospital,” she said at an Alberta Avenue area park, accompanied by her advocates, her husband and their children.

It was her first time seeing her family in three months.

“I cried for three months when I was hiding. So the tears have all dried away,” she added.

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