Forced migration
1 min

Bisexual man faces deportation to Jamaica

A bisexual man has lost his legal battle to stay in Canada after claiming he would face persecution if returned to Jamaica.

Nickaldo Smith, 28, was given a deportation order in 2005 after he was convicted of assault with a weapon in November 2003. He appealed the deporation order, but his appeal was rejected by the Immigration and Refugee Board in 2009. 

Smith then filed a pre-removal risk assessment, which was rejected in a May 2009 IRB decision. He appealed once again, but a Feb 11, 2010 Federal Court ruling upheld the IRB’s decision — the end of the line for Smith’s fight to stay in Canada. He is set to be deported as soon as travel arrangements can be made, say immigration officials.

In the May 2009 ruling, the IRB officer wrote:

"The applicant has provided insufficient evidence to
demonstrate that there would be a lack of protection being offered by the
Jamaican authorities for him as a bisexual man or as a deportee. Should the
police act contrary to their mandate, there are avenues of recourse available
to the applicant through higher authorities and/or NGOs.”

Smith came to Toronto in 1999, at the age of 17, having been sponsored by his mother to become a permanent resident.

Smith has been in a relationship with a woman, Karen Bernard, since 2005. Justice Beaudry says that Smith had a brief sexual relationship with a man in March 2007, at Karen’s encouragement. The relationship was short lived, because Smith was put in detention in April 2007. 

The previous IRB ruling also stated that Smith was not likely to be persecuted in Jamaica because he “doesn’t fit the profile of a gay man.” The IRB cited his relationship with Karen and the fact that Smith was not persecuted while living in Jamaica.

Read the full Feb 11 Federal Court ruling online

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