Canada wants court to toss out former asylum seeker's attempt to clear his name

By The Canadian Press
November 30, 2016 - 11:53am Updated: November 30, 2016 - 4:53pm

VANCOUVER — Canadian government lawyers are asking a Federal Court to reject a bid to clear the name of a former asylum seeker who spent more than two years in a British Columbia church to avoid being deported as a terrorist.

Court documents say Jose Figueroa’s application to rescind an eight-year-old report by Immigration Canada linking him to a group with alleged ties to terrorism is moot because he has since become a permanent resident.

The report highlights his past membership in Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front in El Salvador, the same group that was elected in 2009 and brought in a new era of democracy.

Figueroa fled the country with his wife in 1997 because of death threats and came to Canada as a refugee.

The respondents in the case, which includes the federal attorney general and the ministers of both public safety and immigration, say Figueroa’s application came five years too late.

It’s been a year since an exemption from Immigration Minister John McCallum allowed Figueroa to leave his church sanctuary in Langley, B.C., and he begin studying law at the University of Victoria.

The Canadian Press

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