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Bid for Edmonton family to avoid son's deportation to Somalia in final throes

Somalian refugees Khadro Mohamed and her son Saeed Jama 23, pictured at their home in Edmonton on June 21, 2012. Saeed Jama is facing deportation because of his criminal record though he has never actually been to Somalia.

Jason Franson/The Globe and Mail

The mother of an Edmonton man facing deportation to Somalia – a country he says he's never been to – expects his bid for last-minute clemency has already failed.

Khadro Mohamed's son, 23-year-old Saeed Jama, was picked up from an Edmonton jail Sunday by federal immigration officials. Court had been told Mr. Jama, a convicted drug dealer who is effectively stateless, would be deported Monday, while Ms. Mohamed suspected he'd be deported Sunday.

The office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has refused comment on the case. His staff wouldn't say Sunday whether Mr. Jama had indeed been deported. They declined to comment "on a specific case," though The Globe and Mail has provided the federal government with a release form, signed by Mr. Jama, authorizing officials to discuss his case.

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Now, it appears Mr. Jama will be sent to Mogadishu, a city where he has no family in a volatile country that he wasn't born in, has never lived in and says he's never been to. Canada advises against all travel to Somalia, but still deports people there. Only Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Iraq and Zimbabwe are deemed volatile enough to delay deportation.

Ms. Mohamed said Somalia shouldn't be any different. Her family fled volatile Somalia for Saudi Arabia, where Mr. Jama was born, before coming to Canada in 2001. She had appealed to Mr. Toews to intervene – only the minister can issue a last-minute stay of deportation.

"I don't know why they're doing this. I don't know what to do," Ms. Mohamed said in an interview.

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