Restore Deepan Budlakoti's Canadian citizenship

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Wednesday December 16 2015

The Honorable John McCallum
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1Ll

Dear Minister McCallum,

Please accept our personal congratulations on your election and your appointment to the Cabinet as Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

As a Member of Parliament for many years, we know that you are familiar with the case of Deepan Budlakoti, a citizen of Canada and a resident of Ottawa who was rendered stateless by the previous Canadian Government in 2010. Today, on behalf of the 52 000 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) who are committed to defend labour and human rights, we are asking you to restore Mr. Budlakoti’s Canadian citizenship.

CUPW has been involved with Deepan Budlakoti for the last two years and has played an active role in the "Justice for Deepan" Campaign, providing financial support and publicly taking part in supporting activities in Montreal and Ottawa. Our members understand really well the importance of citizenship as a fundamental right of an individual. We fully endorse the statement of Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, in his letter to the previous government (March 2015):

"Nationality is fundamental. It provides our identity in both a legal and cultural sense.  It is also the source of so many other rights: to vote, to participate and serve in government, to travel freely; and to be able to access education, medical care and employment. It establishes that there is a government to whom we can turn for support and protection.  It is essential.  That is why the right to a nationality is enshrined in article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights".

And we are not alone. Many civil society organizations and other unions are supporting the struggle of Deepan Budlakoti. The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), which represents 3.3 million workers throughout the country, asked the previous Minister of Immigration to initiate a fair and independent review of the case based on the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness signed and ratified by Canada. As the Minister responsible for Citizenship, you have the power to act and give a new life to Deepan Budlakoti by recognizing him as a Canadian Citizen.

 

Sincerely,

Mike Palecek
National President