Editorial: Time to end Figueroa farce

It is time to end the farce that has become the José Figueroa deportation case.

Federal Court judge Richard Mosley has declared the decision by an immigration case worker to deport the Langley father of three was not “intelligible, transparent and justified.”

He’s ordered a new judicial review in Figueroa’s bid to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

It is good news, of a sort, but it means Figueroa must continue to live in sanctuary in a church while he waits for a ruling.

There is no need to drag this out any longer.

All that is required to end it is for some person with the necessary authority to simply concede the obvious, that Figueroa is not and never has been any kind of a threat to Canada.

That a mistake was made when a case worker ruled Figueroa should be deported for belonging to the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMNL) when he was a student in El Salvador.

The bureaucrat in question decided that the FMLN was a “terrorist organization” under hastily drafted post 9-11 definitions that attempted to tighten security in the wake of the twin towers tragedy.

Yes, the FMLN was trying to overthrow a government, a sadistic and violent right-wing military dictatorship responsible for the murders of thousands.

And it succeeded, after an often-violent civil war that ended when the FMLN had won enough military battles to force a negotiated peace agreement.

The government lawyers who want Figueroa deported have been unable to produce evidence linking him to acts of violence.

After the fall of the dictatorship, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front ran as a political party and won election.

The FMLN have been recognized as the legitimate government of El Salvador by the Canadian government.

The same government that is allowing its minions to persecute a man for supporting that very same organization.

There is no practical purpose to be served by sending José Figueroa back to El Salvador other than a bloody-minded refusal by the powers that be to admit a mistake.

Enough is enough.

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