Monday, March 26, 2007

Canadian Gypsy baby likely to be deported

Updated Fri. Mar. 23 2007 3:19 PM ET

Canadian Press

CALGARY -- Being born in Canada isn't likely to help the unborn child of a self-proclaimed Romanian Gypsy now serving time in an Alberta jail for stealing.

The baby, who will probably be born at the Calgary Detention Centre, will be deported along with its mother once she has served her sentence, according to a spokeswoman for the Canadian Border Services Agency.

"We are going to proceed with enforcement action against everybody,'' confirmed Lisa White. "The child will be a Canadian citizen, and where possible we try and keep families together.

"But if we would be successful in removing a person with a child who is a Canadian citizen, it could very well be that they are removed together. The child would go with the mother.''

The soon-to-be mother, along with three other women and two men, pleaded guilty recently to three charges of theft from two Calgary liquor stores in January.

Court heard they distracted shop clerks while carrying out the thefts, one of which included walking out with a safe. The acts were caught on video.

Ancuta Sardaru, Luliana Boana, Aurora Ciuciu and Viorel Chiciu were sentenced to three months in jail, while Illeana Miclescu and Lucian Poenaru Miclescu each received an additional one-month term.

A 17-year-old girl was also charged and appeared in youth court Friday. Her case was put over to April 19 to enter a plea.

Although the Canadian Border Services Agency intends to seek a deportation order, the case could be delayed for some time. The group has sought refugee status on the basis of their Gypsy background, and any deportation order is subject to appeal.

"Once they've completed their sentence and if other cities aren't pursuing charges against them, and there are no other legal matters pending, then we are in the clear to go ahead with enforcement and look at possible removal,'' explained White.

"Forty-eight hours after we take custody they have a right to a detention review before the Immigration and Refugee Board, which will determine the fate of these individuals, so to speak.''

The group is facing additional charges, however, including some in Winnipeg.

"I'm not sure of the exact number of charges, but ... we issued arrest warrants and when they're done with them in Calgary, we'll return them to Winnipeg,'' said Const. Pat Chabidon, who noted the alleged crimes in his city were similar to those in Calgary.

"They usually let us know it is ending and we'll get our guys down there to pick them up.''<

Deporting the Canadian-born children of refugees is not out of the ordinary, said Calgary lawyer Stephen Jenuth, who has handled immigration cases before.

"The Canadian child does have a right to stay in Canada, but the trick is you would almost have to set it up with a friend who is willing to be guardian,'' said Jenuth, who is also president of the Alberta Civil Liberties Association.

A lot of things could come into play that could affect a decision either way.

"The child will always be a Canadian citizen and you may not be able to deport the child because the child may not have any status in Romania,'' Jenuth said.

"What could happen to this child when they arrive? It really depends on Romanian law. Does it give citizenship to children born in other countries?''

It's probable the Canadian Border Services Agency will only be able to get a conditional deportation order that would be effective once the refugee claim was settled, said Jenuth.

"The refugee system is way, way backlogged, so the kid's going to be in Grade 1 or 2 by the time this thing gets to the point that you have to decide what to do.''