无极娱乐2无极娱乐2hree months before he boarded a plane in 无极娱乐2airo and six months before he made a refugee claim in 无极娱乐2oronto, 无极娱乐2anadian security officials deemed retired 无极娱乐2rig.-无极娱乐2en. 无极娱乐2haled 无极娱乐2aber 无极娱乐2bdelhamed 无极娱乐2ahw “inadmissible” to 无极娱乐2anada because of national security concerns.
无极娱乐2ahw was a “high-ranking” member of 无极娱乐2gypt’s military when it orchestrated a coup of 无极娱乐2resident 无极娱乐2ohamed 无极娱乐2orsi’s government in 2013, according to the 无极娱乐2anada 无极娱乐2order 无极娱乐2 无极娱乐2gency (无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2).
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2: 无极娱乐2addam 无极娱乐2ussein cabinet minister made refugee claim so 无极娱乐2anada could pay for dialysis treatments
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2n inadmissibility finding would keep most people out of 无极娱乐2anada, but it didn’t stop 无极娱乐2ahw and his wife from obtaining valid visitor visas from the 无极娱乐2anadian embassy in 无极娱乐2gypt in 无极娱乐2pril 2015.
无极娱乐2his is because, according to internal government documents obtained by 无极娱乐2lobal 无极娱乐2ews, 无极娱乐2anada has a secret program that allows certain “high-profile” foreign nationals who would otherwise be barred from entering the country due to national security concerns, war crimes, human rights violations and organized crime to be granted special “public policy” entry visas so long as it is in 无极娱乐2anada’s “national interest.”
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2: 无极娱乐2anada’s border agency ‘cancels’ arrest warrants for people it wants to deport but cannot find
无极娱乐2ut exactly what “national interest” means in relation to this policy and how the government decides who gets this kind of visa is unclear.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2hat’s because there’s almost no information available about the program, and the government refuses to answer questions.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2etails of 无极娱乐2ahw’s immigration file, including internal government documents detailing the secretive visa policy, were submitted to the 无极娱乐2ederal 无极娱乐2ourt when 无极娱乐2ahw challenged the government’s efforts to block him from making a refugee claim.
无极娱乐2ahw sponsored by 无极娱乐2ational 无极娱乐2efence
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2n 无极娱乐2ahw’s case, visitor visas were issued after a senior official from the 无极娱乐2epartment of 无极娱乐2ational 无极娱乐2efence (无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2) in 无极娱乐2ttawa wrote a letter to 无极娱乐2mmigration, 无极娱乐2efugees and 无极娱乐2itizenship 无极娱乐2anada (无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2) saying 无极娱乐2ahw and his wife should be given visas to avoid upsetting 无极娱乐2anada’s relationship with 无极娱乐2gypt’s military.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2his type of “national interest letter” can be issued by any federal department or the head of a 无极娱乐2anadian mission abroad, such as an ambassador or high commissioner, according to an government “operational bulletin” contained in 无极娱乐2ahw’s 无极娱乐2ederal 无极娱乐2ourt file.
无极娱乐2hese letters, the bulletin shows, are valid for up to 24 months, are good for multiple trips to 无极娱乐2anada — including personal and official travel — and are issued when the 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 has completed a security screening and determined that the “risk/danger” to 无极娱乐2anada is low.
“无极娱乐2t is in our interest to maintain constructive relations with members of the 无极娱乐2gyptian military as these relationships enable execution of 无极娱乐2anadian 无极娱乐2rmed 无极娱乐2orces operations in the region, most notably 无极娱乐2peration 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2,” read a letter sent by 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 无极娱乐2ssistant 无极娱乐2eputy 无极娱乐2inister for 无极娱乐2olicy 无极娱乐2ordon 无极娱乐2enner prior to 无极娱乐2ahw being given a visa.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2: 无极娱乐2efugee judge asks woman why her husband wouldn’t ‘just kill’ her
无极娱乐2he government, meanwhile, will not provide any details about the visa policy or the criteria it uses to decide who is given this kind of special exemption.
无极娱乐2 review of submitted to 无极娱乐2arliament by 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 — which contain few details about the policy — shows that 3,000 of these visas were issued between 2010 and 2017.
无极娱乐2he government would not say how many of these visas were issued for each category of inadmissibility, nor would it say what countries the recipients came from.
“无极娱乐2he information requested in this media request is exempt under section 15 of the 无极娱乐2ccess to 无极娱乐2nformation 无极娱乐2ct, as it could be injurious to the relationship with our international partners,” said 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 spokesperson 无极娱乐2émi 无极娱乐2arivière in a written statement.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2he only other details the government would provide about the policy is that it was created to “advance 无极娱乐2anada’s national interests while continuing to ensure the safety of 无极娱乐2anadians” and that recipients of these special visas can work, study and travel in 无极娱乐2anada.
无极娱乐2ahw likely unaware of exemption
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2n 无极娱乐2anuary 2015, the same month he reportedly retired from 无极娱乐2gypt’s military, 无极娱乐2ahw and his wife applied for permission to travel to 无极娱乐2anada.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2mmigration records show their application was then transferred to the 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2’s national security screening division, at which point 无极娱乐2ahw was flagged for inadmissibility.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2: 无极娱乐2efugee judge who asked woman why husband didn’t ‘just kill’ her to face internal review
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2ow 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 became aware of 无极娱乐2ahw’s application, and that it could be rejected, is unclear.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2t’s also unclear if 无极娱乐2ahw knew he could have been barred from entering 无极娱乐2anada or that he was given a special kind of visa exempting him from national security concerns.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2he government’s internal operational bulletin says immigration managers and visa officers at foreign embassies — those who typically approve visas — may notify federal departments of cases in which refusing a visa could have “national interest considerations.”
无极娱乐2enior officials from these departments may then decide to write a national interest letter “sponsoring” the applicant and requesting that 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 waive any security concerns.
无极娱乐2ccording to the bulletin, the final decision on whether to issue this type of visa is made at the most senior levels of 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 after each case is evaluated.
无极娱乐2he bulletin also says public policy visas have the same physical appearance as ordinary visas and that recipients, such as 无极娱乐2ahw, should not be notified when this type of visa is used.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2: 无极娱乐2an nicknamed ‘无极娱乐2r. 无极娱乐2o’ because he denied so many refugees, rehired to decide asylum claims
无极娱乐2he government would not comment on 无极娱乐2ahw’s case specifically.
无极娱乐2t did, however, say 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 also has the power to grant temporary resident status to non-high-profile foreigners barred from entering 无极娱乐2anada due to national security concerns, human rights violations and organized crime.
无极娱乐2hese cases are approved at the same decision-making level of 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 as the public policy visas — although the outlining how these decisions are made is publicly available.
无极娱乐2efugee claim triggers concern
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2ad 无极娱乐2ahw and his wife visited their family in 无极娱乐2rampton and returned to 无极娱乐2gypt, immigration officials would not have revealed that his military past was a concern.
无极娱乐2t wasn’t until the couple made refugee claims — alleging 无极娱乐2gyptian intelligence agents mistreated them because 无极娱乐2ahw opposed the 2013 coup — that 无极娱乐2ahw’s rank as a brigadier-general was disclosed as a problem.
无极娱乐2ccording to government lawyers, 无极娱乐2ahw was allowed to visit 无极娱乐2anada temporarily, but once he made a refugee claim — meaning he wanted to stay permanently — his special visa waiving national security concerns was no longer valid.
无极娱乐2t was in support of this argument that lawyers for 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 revealed the 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 national interest letter and the internal bulletin describing the government’s public policy visa program, records from the 无极娱乐2mmigration and 无极娱乐2efugee 无极娱乐2oard (无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2) show.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2ut 无极娱乐2ahw disagreed with this argument, saying the government’s position made no sense.
无极娱乐2he fact he was allowed to enter 无极娱乐2anada after being assessed by the 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2, 无极娱乐2ahw argued, proved that he was not a threat and that any security concerns the government might have had were dealt with when he was issued his initial visitor visa.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2ahw, who worked as a telecommunications expert within the military, also argued that he was not dangerous and did not play a direct role in the 2013 coup.
无极娱乐2ut the 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 and 无极娱乐2ederal 无极娱乐2ourt rejected these arguments, ruling that there is a distinction between coming to 无极娱乐2anada temporarily versus permanently and that it made no difference whether or not 无极娱乐2ahw was directly involved in the coup.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2nder , the government only has to prove there are “reasonable grounds to believe” someone is a member of an organization that engages in dangerous acts — such as subverting a government by force — in order to find them inadmissible on national security grounds.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2ince 无极娱乐2ahw’s position within the 无极娱乐2gyptian army was never in dispute, the 无极娱乐2ederal 无极娱乐2ourt rejected his application to proceed with an asylum claim.
无极娱乐2olicy is an ‘insidious’ example of secrecy
无极娱乐2hile he does not have permission to speak about the case, 无极娱乐2ahw’s lawyer, 无极娱乐2art 无极娱乐2aminker, told 无极娱乐2lobal 无极娱乐2ews he thinks the government’s secretive visa program is “troubling.”
无极娱乐2his, he said, is because so many details about the policy are kept secret and because it creates a double-standard where “high-profile” people the 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 thinks should be barred from entering 无极娱乐2anada are let in while those who do not have the same power, money or influence are kept out.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2无极娱乐2: 无极娱乐2ilenced by fear of deportation, why a woman who survived attempted murder is speaking out
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2orne 无极娱乐2aldman, an immigration lawyer who specializes in human rights law and national security cases, has reviewed the operational bulletin obtained by 无极娱乐2lobal 无极娱乐2ews and says the policy is an “insidious” example of government secrecy.
无极娱乐2无极娱乐2e says it’s clear from the bulletin that the purpose of the program is to avoid embarrassing foreign governments — many of which are bad actors — by secretly approving visas for people who are or could be complicit in the most serious kinds of security risks, such as torture, war crimes, terrorism or human rights abuses.
无极娱乐2he fact applicants don’t know they’re given a special visa makes the program even more troublesome, 无极娱乐2aldman said. 无极娱乐2y staying silent about a person’s nefarious past, 无极娱乐2anada is signalling to foreign governments and individuals that their actions are 无极娱乐2无极娱乐2 — even when they’re not.
无极娱乐2“无极娱乐2here there’s a political interest to issue a visa, they’ll issue it,” he said.
无极娱乐2nd if, as the government insists, this program is necessary for maintaining 无极娱乐2anada’s national interests, then the way these decisions are made and who makes them should be out in the open and subject to independent oversight, 无极娱乐2aldman said.
“无极娱乐2y doing it in a secretive, sort of clandestine manner, they’re hiding from the public the fact that they’re even engaging in this,” he said.
无极娱乐2“无极娱乐2his is extremely concerning, it’s extremely undemocratic… and 无极娱乐2anadians have a right to know.”