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Tamil asylum-seekers crowd the deck of the MV Sun Sea off the coast of British Columbia in August. (MCpl Angela Abbey/DND/MCpl. Angela Abbey/DND)
Tamil asylum-seekers crowd the deck of the MV Sun Sea off the coast of British Columbia in August. (MCpl Angela Abbey/DND/MCpl. Angela Abbey/DND)

Tamil migrant pursues living in Canada despite deportation order Add to ...

An MV Sun Sea passenger who admitted he was a member of the Tamil Tigers isn't giving up on his dream of living in Canada even though he's been ordered deported, the man's lawyer said Wednesday.

Robin Bajer said his client - who can't be identified because of a publication ban - is still considering his options after the Immigration and Refugee Board ruled earlier this week that he was inadmissible to Canada.

"The client does have some options, so we're going to be investigating those and likely pursuing some of them," Mr. Bajer said in an interview.

One of those options is to apply to the Federal Court for a judicial review. The migrant can also apply for a pre-removal risk assessment and stay in Canada if he proves he'd face cruel and unusual punishment upon his return to Sri Lanka.

Mr. Bajer wouldn't say exactly which avenue he'll pursue, or when applications might be filed.

He said his client left the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - a terrorist organization banned in Canada - more than a decade ago and hasn't had any contact with the group since. "There's an issue whether he's anything of a security threat to Canada at this point."

The migrant - one of 492 MV Sun Sea passengers who arrived in B.C. last August - told the Canada Border Services Agency he was a Tiger for more than five years. The Tigers lost the decades-long Sri Lankan civil war in 2009.

The man said he was once shot in the leg during a battle with the Sri Lankan navy. He said his division's mission that day was to destroy the navy vessel so it couldn't deliver weapons to a government-controlled area. The ship sustained damage and was unable to complete its arms run.

The man told Canadian border officials he never wanted to join the Tigers and was tricked into doing so by his friends when he was a teenager.

CBSA argued the man should be deported under a section of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that deems refugee claimants inadmissible if they engaged in subversion or terrorism against a democratic government. The hearing adjudicator agreed and said it was "significant" that the man did not try to leave the LTTE for several years.

None of the other MV Sun Sea passengers have been declared inadmissible, but more than 30 admissibility cases must still be heard. Only one other case has been held - that migrant was ordered released.

None of the 76 passengers onboard the Ocean Lady - which arrived in British Columbia in October, 2009 - were deemed inadmissible. All filed refugee claims, as did those on the MV Sun Sea.

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