Federal Court


Removal officer not required to undertake substantive review of children’s best interests

Applicant and her three children, aged 20 to 24, were citizens of Mexico. Applicant left Mexico allegedly to flee threatening ex-husband and came to Canada in 2007. In June 2013, applicant married Canadian citizen with two children, aged 9 and 11. Applications for pre-removal risk assessment were dismissed in September 2013. Applicant alleged being primary caregiver to husband’s children. Removal order was issued. Applicants applied for stay of removal. Removal officer refused to grant stay. Applicant applied for judicial review of agent’s decision. Application dismissed. Standard of review of removal officer’s decision was reasonableness. Reviewing court owed deference to removal officer. Removal officer noted that applicant did not cite children’s best interest until two weeks prior to removal date, that applicant had only recently married children’s father, and that she was not their biological mother. Removal officer was not required to undertake substantive review of children’s best interests. Removal officer had limited discretion. Youth protection agency report indicated that children’s security and development were not compromised despite biological mother’s issues. Evidence did not support applicant’s premise that children would be in precarious situation if she left. Removal officer’s decision was reasonable.

Vargas Ezquivel c. Canada (Ministre de la Sécurité publique et de la Protection civile) (Oct. 20, 2014, F.C., Michel M.J. Shore J., File No. IMM-1052-14) 245 A.C.W.S. (3d) 392.

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