Jamaican athlete Tamarri Lindo and family granted one-year reprieve from deportation in Canada

By Sports Desk July 10, 2024
Jamaican athlete Tamarri Lindo and family granted one-year reprieve from deportation in Canada CBC

In a significant turn of events, Jamaican athlete Tamarri Lindo and his family have been granted a one-year reprieve from deportation from Canada following a public outcry and concerns over potential political persecution. The announcement was made by the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change on Tuesday.

Tamarri Lindo, who moved to Toronto with his family at the age of 15, is now 20 years old and has recently achieved national acclaim by winning a bronze medal in the 110-metre hurdles. After completing high school in Toronto, he joined York University. The family has received a temporary resident permit from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), allowing them to stay in Canada for another year.

"After much tribulation and stress, finally receiving a temporary resident permit from IRCC, allowing my family and me to stay in Canada for a year, feels like a breath of fresh air," said George Lindo, Tamarri's father. "At the same time, this should not have happened, and should not happen to anyone. I urge the government to keep their promise and regularize all undocumented people."

The Lindo family fled Jamaica in 2019, fearing political persecution due to George Lindo’s involvement with the opposition People's National Party. Lindo has survived three assassination attempts in Jamaica, further highlighting the dangers they faced.

Aidan Simardone, the family's lawyer, expressed relief at the temporary reprieve but criticized the delay in granting the family their status. "I also know that there are many others like them who are deported and killed. To stop this from happening again, the government must grant permanent resident status to undocumented people arriving in Canada to make a better life," Simardone told Canadian media.

In an interview with CBC Toronto, Simardone revealed the emotional toll of the situation. "We're really happy ... it's a huge relief for all of us," he said, noting the immense stress of the looming deportation and the extensive hours he dedicated to the case.

Simardone emphasized that this case is not an example of Canada's immigration system functioning effectively, pointing out that people from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East face more scrutiny compared to those from Europe. "Situations like this happen all the time," he said. "I hope that this is a wake-up call for the public and our government as well."

The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change highlighted the significant public support for the Lindo family, with nearly 2,000 people writing letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Immigration Minister Marc Miller, urging them to stop the deportation.

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