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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Alexis Portnoy Arrested and Turned Over to the Canadian Border Services for Deportaion

Newfoundland and Labrador breaking news:

December 22, 2005

Early this morning an RCMP spokesperson announced the arrest of Alexis Portnoy, an Israeli immigrant who has been the center of a province wide effort to save him and his family from deportation.

Mr. Pornoy and his family have been receiving asylum in a church basement in Marystown, Newfoundland since October when he along with his pregnant wife and 4 children were ordered out of the country.

The family, which has been living in Newfoundland for more than 10 years and by all accounts have been welcome and productive members of the local community. In the past few months the unprecedented outcry of people across the province, including many local municipal leaders, has gone largely unheeded by federal officials and ministers, including requests by citizens groups for a stay of deportation.

The Portnoy case has touched the hearts and minds of most people in the province largely due to the fact that two of the family’s four children suffer from medical conditions, including one who has cystic fibrosis. In addition to this, the two younger children were born in the province and are by birthright Canadian citizens. The only response from government on the issue of the Canadian children was that they were welcome to stay but both parents and both older siblings would be forced to leave.

This case which has touched and angered so many people took an unexpected turn early this morning with the announcement of Mr. Portnoy’s arrest in the Burin Peninsula area.

According to early reports, Alexis Portnoy had sneaked out of the church around 10pm last evening intent on emptying clothing collection bins belonging to the Canadian Diabetes Association. Prior to his moving into the church he and an associate had been under contract with the charity to collect donated clothing from the drop off locations and deliver it to the collection center. With Christmas just a couple of days away and a feeling of generosity in the air, bins in the area were overflowing and it appears Mr. Portnoy was intent on ensuring that they reached their destination.

RCMP spokesperson Sergeant Chris Fitzgerald informed the media this morning that Mr. Portnoy had been stopped on a routine traffic violation and upon running his license the outstanding deportation order was identified. Mr. Portnoy was immediately arrested and turned over to the Canada Border Services agency. At this point his exact whereabouts are unknown.

The family had been working with an immigration lawyer to prepare an application for citizenship on humanitarian grounds which they hoped to present to government in the new year. As of this morning the remainder of the Portnoy family was still inside the basement of the Sacred Heart church in Marystown. The major concern of many in the province, and more especially his wife and children, is that Alexis Portnoy may already have been taken out of the province and perhaps even be on a flight back to Israel before the end of the day.

9 comments:

Patriot said...

If anyone wants to try to help this family, they can do so by visiting their web site (there is a link on the right side of my web page.)

There you will find a petition you can sign and each submission is directly routed to various members of government including the minister in charge of Immigration Joe Volpe.

Anonymous said...

A great example of heartless government.

I have my fingers crossed that maybe now this will catch the attention of national media and make the nation aware of the type of Christmas gifts the government really really hands out this time of year.

no longer proud said...

I often get accused of being a conspiracy theorist, but why are the feds so hell-bent on deporting the Portnoys, considering that the Liberals want to increase immigration by 40% next year? My theory: The Portnoys made the mistake of settling in NL and they are being made an example of for any other immigrants that might consider NL as a potential destination. Think about it... The Portnoys spent a few years in 'Upper Canada' (Quebec, if I recall correctly) and were not bothered at all by immigration authorities. It wasn't until they relocated to NL and put down roots in Marystown that their troubles began.

It seems to me that immigrants settling in NL are viewed by the feds as a hinderance to their plan of draining this place of its valuable resources (both natural and human). The attitude I'm perceiving from 'up along' is "Either you'll work for the benefit of Upper Canada, or you can stay the f#!k out!" I'm willing to bet that had the Portnoys stayed in Quebec, they'd be enjoying a normal Christmas at home instead of the hell they're being subjected to now.

Please forgive this moment of immaturity, but...

UP YOURS, OTTAWA!!! *insert middle extended finger here*

no longer proud said...

I wish posts could be edited... The above should say *insert extended middle finger here*

Not really a big deal, but I just hate to make grammatical errors.

Patriot said...

Dear No Longer Proud,

I'm not a conspiracy Theorist by any means even though I've written a couple of tongue in cheek articles on the subject and I can't say I agree with your theory on this one. Having said that, there may be some glimmer of truth in part of what you say.

I believe that if this family was somewhere else other than Newfoundland they would indeed be enjoying Christmas right now.

While this story is getting no air time on national news broadcasts and political leaders are only paying lip service to it there are other families in other parts of the country that have found resolution to similar issues.

A prime example is the South Korean family, Kyu Man Jeong, in BC. This family had been in Canada for much less time than the Portnoys. They had claimed refugee status in the same way the Portnoys had. The difference was that the father was on the run because he had been involved in crimes such as money launering in his home country and was running both from the law and from organized crimve figures.

He and his family were on the run in Canada because dire things would happen to them if they went back.

Within 1 day of their story hitting the national news through the CBC (A government run television service) the family was granted a stay of deportation. I'm not saying they did or didn't deserve the help, but why was this such an easy thing to accomplish?

Perhaps because there is a very large asian community in BC and the Liberals hope to make inroads there during this election campaign. They know the west is not a big area of popularity for them and this is a chance to help themselves win this election.

Meanwhile the Liberal party also knows they don't really care about the 7 seats in NL and they know they are pretty well guaranteed at least half of them if not more. In other words, they don't need to buy our votes so the Portnoys can fry for all they care.

Not really a conspiracy theory but a reasonable theory none the less.

Outraged said...

This is ridiclious. How can a government that promotes peace and humanity hurt a family so much. It angers me how insensitive our justice system is. With an upcoming election you'd think the fat fucks on parliment hill would do something about this. I am outraged. I feel so deeply for this cause. How could they do this to the Portnoy family?
Theres a merry-fucking-xmas for you.

I challenge anyone to prove me otherwise.

Patriot said...

Hi all,

As much as I appreciate your heart felt comments on this topic, I have to make one request.

Please try to keep your off colour language to a minimum. I don't normally allow comments containing swearing to remain on the site but I understand how emotional this particular issue is for everyone.

All I ask is that you all try to remember that this site is accessible to younger users and as much as this situation angers us all we need to keep that in mind.

Thanks and please keep the comments coming.

Myles

BNB said...

There are so many things wrong with this situation:

The Portnoy's have fully established their roots here. One decade later is way too bloody long to stamp a sheet of paper.

Secondly there is a tremendous amount of support in Marytown for this family. I have to trust the people who know them best.

Thirdly all dealings with this case is done on the mainland. Even with the most recent issue after Alexi was grabbed by the police they had to set up a conference call with Montreal!

And not least is the welfare of all of the children two of whom are Born and Bred Canadian.

The fact is that if this family were in Quebec, with a Quebec town rallying support behind them the situation would be 180 degrees, completely different.

StraightA said...

Thing is, he is a convicted car thief, he has been removed from Canada (twice) and is being returned to a democratic country that enjoys all the freedoms Canadians have.
So what's the beef? There are thousands of legitimate refugees that wait in-line that should be allowed in before this family - If not why even have immigration rules?