News / Vancouver

A timeline of asylum seeker Jose Figueroa's case

VICTORIA — Jose Figueroa wants the Federal Court to clear his name after being accused of having links to terrorism. Here is a timeline of his case:

1997: Figueroa and his wife flee El Salvador, fearing for their safety. They come to Canada and claim refugee status. Over the next several years, they work and have three children.

2009: The Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front is voted into power in El Salvador, ushering a new era of democracy.

May 2010: The Immigration and Refugee Board determines Figueroa cannot be admitted to Canada, arguing that he is a threat to national security because he worked with a student group that had ties to the revolutionary national liberation front in the 1980s. A deportation order is issued.

January 2011: Supporters launch a campaign called "We are Jose," encouraging the federal government to overturn the deportation order. The campaign gains support from MPs, academics, student groups, the vice-president of the Salvadoran National Assembly and actor Martin Sheen. Several successive immigration ministers refuse to grant Figueroa's application for relief.

October 2013: A warrant is issued for Figueroa's arrest and deportation, prompting him to seek sanctuary in a church in Langley, B.C.

July 2015: A Federal Court judge grants Figueroa a judicial review.

December 2015: Immigration Minister John McCallum grants Figueroa an exemption on compassionate grounds, allowing him to stay in Canada with his family. He leaves the church for the first time in more than two years on his 49th birthday.

November 2016: Figueroa plans to appear before the Federal Court and argue to have his name cleared. He says that although he is now a permanent resident in Canada, the border services agency still has a deportation order against him and an eight-year-old report alleging he has links to terrorism.

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