A Black man seeking refugee status in Canada found himself returning to the United States after his application was denied last month. Kyle Lydell Canty visited British Columbia last year and decided to stay, citing that police in his native country were essentially targeting Black people and exterminating them.
Kyle Lydell Canty said he crossed the border into British Columbia in early September to visit and take photos, but two days later, decided to stay and apply for refugee status.
At an Immigration and Refugee Board hearing in October, where he represented himself, Canty argued that black people are “being exterminated at an alarming rate” in the US, and presented exhibits meant to demonstrate the human rights conditions in his home country, including videos of his own and others’ experiences of being harassed by cops, various news reports, and the handbook from the UN refugee agency UNHCR on determining refugee status.
“I then presented evidence specifically dealing with me, such as documents dealing with false arrests, no probable cause, evidence of extortion on behalf of the police departments and courts,” he told VICE News in October.
But the IRB has found Canty doesn’t have a well-founded fear of persecution under UN grounds — race, nationality, religion, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion — in the US. The board’s Ron Yamauchi wrote in his decision that Canty’s deportation back to the US wouldn’t “subject him personally to a risk to his life or to a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment,” and that there were no substantial grounds to believe he’d be subjected to torture.
Although Canty’s accounts were found convincing by the IRB, his self-shot videos were found to be related to his “subjective fear” of police which is a clear determination that has to be made under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
The board ultimately found that Canty’s interactions with police haven’t been unlawful, nor did he face assault or any of the other charges he levied. The board added that harassment and discrimination aren’t solid enough grounds for refugee protection under the law.
Vice added that Canty claimed via email that he was placed in jail after an attempt to move to Ottawa without following proper protocol, although he said he followed the correct procedures.
In an email this week, Canty claimed he was thrown in jail for trying to move to Ottawa without informing the proper authorities, which he says he did. VICE News could not independently confirm this claim.
“All of this is political and has nothing to do with refugee law,” Canty wrote to VICE.
SOURCE: VICE | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty