Canada Denies Asylum to African-American Man Fearing Police Violence

By Sameer Rao Jan 11, 2016

Canada rejected an asylum application from an African-American man trying to flee police brutality in the US. 

Kyle Lydell Canty applied for refugee status in Canada last October, citing a personal history of harassment by police and the killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown to make his case that Black people are "being exterminated at an alarming rate" by police. Canty argued his case with Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) in Vancouver while living in a homeless shelter there; he had entered the Canadian province of British Columbia as a tourist but then submitted an application for refugee status while in Vancouver. 

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation cites IRB board member Ron Yamauchi’s decision, saying that while Canty brought up significant evidence that Black people are "stopped and questioned by police at the highest rate compared to other racial groups," the harassment he claimed to endure had not ""resulted in assault, excessive detention or lack of due process" and that "his removal to the United States of America would not subject him personally to a risk to his life or to a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment." Canty has since been sent back to the United States, where he admitted he has outstanding charges in multiple states related to jaywalking, issuing threats and disorderly conduct.   

Canty wrote an editorial about his case for asylum and experiences with the application in The Guardian this past November. He described how he might follow-up a possible rejection, with steps that he may presently have to implement: 

If I receive a negative decision of my asylum application, I’m already 10 moves ahead as far as my appeal process goes. I have a plan, and I’m going to follow it. The United States has always been a terrible country to live in. The United States government is always murdering, undermining and underestimating its black citizens – and I have no intention of going back.

(H/t CBC, The Guardian