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Immigration Consequences at Sentencing. Peter Edelmann.

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Presentation Transcript

The severity of deportation—"the equivalent of banishment or exile," [...] only underscores how critical it is for counsel to inform her noncitizen client that he faces a risk of deportation. It is our responsibility under the Constitution to ensure that no criminal defendant—whether a citizen or not—is left to the "mercies of incompetent counsel." [...] To satisfy this responsibility, we now hold that counsel must inform her client whether his plea carries a risk of deportation.

Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 – 2010.


It is to be hoped that in future, the record will demonstrate adequate consideration of the immigration consequences of any sentence to be imposed. It is perhaps not too much to ask the Crown to address these matters before the sentencing judge in the event that defence counsel fails to do so.

R. v. Martinez-Marte, 2008 BCCA 136.

immigration status
Immigration Status
  • A citizen is the most secure in their status, and have a constitutional right to enter, remain in and leave Canada (Charter s.6)
  • A permanent resident is a person who has acquired permanent resident status and has not subsequently lost that status
  • A foreign national is a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
inadmissibility criminality
Inadmissibility: Criminality

36 [...] (2) A foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of criminality for (a) having been convicted in Canada of an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by way of indictment, or of two offences under any Act of Parliament not arising out of a single occurrence;

inadmissibility serious criminality
Inadmissibility: Serious Criminality

36 (1) A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality for (a) having been convicted in Canada of an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years, or[…] for which a term of imprisonment of more than six months has been imposed;

hybrids deemed indictable
Hybrids deemed indictable

36.(3) (a) an offence that may be prosecuted either summarily or by way of indictment is deemed to be an indictable offence, even if it has been prosecuted summarily;

summary conviction offences
Summary conviction offences
  • 89 weapon at public meeting
  • 173 indecent acts
  • 175 causing disturbance
  • 335 take motor vehicle without consent
  • 364 obtain food or lodging by fraud
  • 372(2)(3) indecent/harassing phone calls
  • 393(3) obtain transport by fraud
  • Must be a conviction, does not apply to:
    • acquittals, stays, withdrawals
    • discharges (conditional or absolute)
    • peace bonds (s.810, etc.)
    • alternative measures
    • NCRMD findings
acts of parliament
Acts of Parliament
  • Convictions must be under an “Act of Parliament”, and do not include convictions for:
    • provincial offences
    • contempt of Court
    • YCJA/YOA offences
    • offences under the Contraventions Act
terms of imprisonment
Terms of imprisonment
  • Applies to individual sentences. Multiple consecutive sentences are not viewed cumulatively.
  • Conditional sentence order may bea “term of imprisonment”
  • Pre-sentence custody taken into account by the Court is deemed to be part of the sentence
removal order appeals
Removal order appeals

Bill C-43 – change to legislation

  • No appeal if a crime that was punished by a term of imprisonment of at least six months
  • Coming into force – June 19, 2013
  • New provision affects any case that was not referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board before coming into force
ribic factors
Ribic factors
  • seriousness of the offence or offences leading to the deportation
  • possibility of rehabilitation
  • length of time spent in Canada and the degree to which the appellant is established;
  • family in Canada and the dislocation to that family that deportation of the appellant would cause;
  • support available for the appellant not only within the family but also within the community
  • degree of hardship that would be caused to the appellant by his return to his country of nationality.
ability to sponsor
Ability to Sponsor
  • not detained in any penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison;
  • not been convicted under the Criminal Code of
    • an offence of a sexual nature, or an attempt or a threat to commit such an offence, against any person, or
    • an offence that results in bodily harm or threat of bodily harm against a relative of the sponsor or a relative of the sponsor's spouse
citizenship applications
Citizenship Applications

Cannot apply for residency if convicted of indictable offence in previous three years (hybrids not deemed indictable in Citizenship Act)

Periods which will not count towards residency include while:

  • (a) under a probation order;
  • (b) a paroled inmate; or
  • (c) an inmate of any penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison.
interplay between criminal and immigration processes
Interplay between criminal and immigration processes
  • Stays of removal
  • Impact of removal orders on CCRA and parole eligibility
  • Charges under IRPA
  • Immigration detention
  • Ongoing immigration matters
  • Returning to Canada for ongoing criminal matters
questions or comments
Questions or comments