UPDATE: Good news about Kevin Yourdkhani and his parents!

I just came home from an important meeting and saw the emails from my blogger friends about the good news regarding little Kevin Yourdkhani and his parents. Looks like they will be coming back here soon:

Updated Mon. Mar. 12 2007 8:22 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff

A nine-year-old boy and his Iranian parents held in a Texas detention centre for illegal immigrants are being granted temporary passage to Canada.

Kevin Yourdkhani (a Canadian citizen) and his parents were detained last month by U.S. Customs officials after their flight to Toronto made an unscheduled stop on American soil.

“The minister’s decision was made in the best interests of the child,” said Mike Fraser, a spokesperson for Immigration and Citizenship Minister Diane Finley. “This is a unique situation.”

Citing privacy concerns, Fraser said he couldn’t comment on how soon the family may leave the T. Don Hutto facility outside Austin, Tex., or how long the family will be able to stay in Canada.

Read full CTV article: Detained family given temporary passage to Canada.

Although Diane Finley’s spokesperson Mike Fraser would not comment on when the family will leave Hutto or how long they will be allowed to stay in Canada, it is good to know that at least they will be returning here, hopefully soon. Kevin has suffered more than any young child should suffer.

…And you can bet that little ‘ole moi’ here will keep a vigilant eye on this family’s situation, refugee claim and asylum. Let’s hope that they won’t fall through the cracks of our immigration and refugee system again. With all they’ve been through, this family deserves a chance at a decent life.

My heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful, compassionate bloggers here who unquestioningly came to the assistance of this family when they saw what I was trying to do. Without your tireless, ongoing support, my little voice would have been lost in the wilderness. You deserve kudos! Liberal catnip has been especially hard-working.

Here is another link to little Kevin’s story, this one from the CBC:
Family detained in U.S. granted permit to enter Canada.

** I must not forget the great help given by my Liberal MP, Dr. Ruby Dhalla who wrote a wonderful letter to Peter MacKay and followed up with phone calls. Thanks, Ruby!


8 Responses to UPDATE: Good news about Kevin Yourdkhani and his parents!

  1. Alison says:

    Take a bow, Annemarie.
    Take it for all the ways you hoped blogging could be a force for good in the world; take it for being one of them.

  2. Such great news to come home to after-work tonight—I am *so* relieved! You’re an inspiration, Annemarie! Best wishes to you—GDK

  3. verbena19 says:

    Thank you Alison and GDK! And thank you both for all your help! I couldn’t have done it without you! Much appreciated!

    My heartfelt thanks and warmest wishes,

    Annamarie 🙂

  4. skdadl says:

    This is wonderful news, and you are indeed an inspiration, Annamarie. catnip calls you the very definition of activism in action, and so say all of us. Thank you.

  5. JimBobby says:

    Whooee! AnnieGal, I’m right alongside o’ them others who’s callin’ you an inspiration. It’s a dang good thing when a publick awareness an’ letter-writin’ campaign does what it aims t’ do. I ain’t seen any news reports that give any credit t’ you or t’ the Canajun boogeysphere, in general, but I figger this whole issue would o’ got buried in with all the other bad prison news from Merka, if you hadn’t taken the bull by the horns an’ not let go.

    Ma writes a lotta letters t’ gummints around the world fer Amnesty International. Most times, she gets a letter back from some hell-hole sayin’ they got her letter but she should mind her own bizness. Once in a while, there’s a success. I know how good that makes her feel an’ I know how good yer probbly feelin’ after workin’ hard an’ gettin’ results.

    Annamarie, you can bask in the glow o’ knowin’ yer dedication helped keep this story alive long enough that the MSM took notice an’ the minister took action.


  6. verbena19 says:

    Thank you all for your kind words, but remember that I couldn’t have done it without your help! No, the msm will not mention us bloggers, for they like to take credit, especially for something that turns out good. But rest assured that little Kevin and his family are aware of our help. I know this.

    JimBobby, give ‘Ma’ a great big hug for me for all the letter-writing she does for Amnesty. I am also a member, and do likewise, so I know how she feels. Please tell her that I will likely be having an Amnesty Taste for Justice barbecue when the weather’s nice, so I’ll let everyone know and those who live in the vicinity are welcome. It’s to raise awareness and some funds for Amnesty’s work to stop violence against women, and rights for Indigenous women, children, and human rights worldwide. My place is very small, but there’s always room for anyone who’d like to stay over….

    warmest wishes to all of you,
    Annamarie 🙂

    P.S. JimBobby, thanks for confirming the good news and sending me the link. It was a very welcome surprise when I returned home from my meeting. Much appreciated! 🙂

  7. Steve Smith says:

    I have a few questions. Maybe somebody can help me out. The Media is often confusing.

    ” ‘The boy’s Iranian parents fled to Canada in January 1995 and lived in Toronto for 10 years while seeking political asylum,’ MacKay said.
    Their son was born in Toronto in 1997. They were denied refuge and were deported back to Iran in December 2005 after exhausting all their legal avenues.” (CTV News)

    Did the family apply for Refugee Status in 1995?

    If so, did it take 10 years to process their Refugee Claim?

    Because they were deported in 2005, does that not mean they no longer can make a refugee claim and must file a humanitarian claim?


  8. verbena19 says:

    From what I understand, according to the family’s Canadian lawyer Andrew Brouwer :
    Majid and his wife are barred by law from making a second refugee claim after being deported once before, but they are entitled to file for a pre-removal risk assessment to determine whether their lives are at risk in Iran. They can also apply to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

    Hope that answers your questions.

    btw, from reading some previous articles, it seems that our Immigration and Citizenship dept. had internal problems during that time, so I will hazard a guess that this family’s case ‘slipped through the cracks’. Otherwise, I find it highly inconceivable that they were not granted refugee status after fleeing such a repressive regime as Iran. We’ve let in people from far less oppressive regions on the same grounds.

    I certainly hope that this time the family will be allowed to stay and make a new life here in Canada.

    But so far, they are still sitting in T. Don Hutto, awaiting the slow-moving authorities’ arrangements for clearance and a flight back here. I wonder how long this will take??


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